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17 May 2017

EP budget and economic committees approve extension of EFSI

On Monday 15 May, the committees on budgets and on economic and financial affairs of the European Parliament approved an extension of the EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments). They stressed, however, that the investment plan should focus on riskier future-oriented investments which would not otherwise happen, preferably in economically weaker EU regions. MEPs outlined their positions in two votes, the first one assessing EFSI's implementation and the second green-lighting a boost of the fund’s technical assistance (Investment Advisory Hub) for small-scale and cross-border projects.

The MEPs rejected the Commission’s proposal to use money from the budgetary lines of Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility to extend the investment plan. They would prefer to take the unused budgetary margins under the ceiling of one or more headings of the multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020.

The report on the implementation of EFSI will be voted by the plenary in June. The committees approved the opening of interinstitutional negotiations on the regulation extending the fund's duration. These negotiations are due to start at the end of May.

The EFSI, implemented by European Investment Bank, was established for an initial period of 3 years, with the aim of mobilising at least €315 billion of investments in the real economy. The European Commission proposed to extend the fund’s duration (EFSI 2.0) until the end of current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in December 2020, with a view to reaching an investment target of €500 billion. EU Finance Ministers already gave their backing to the EFSI 2.0 at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in December 2016, a decision that was later endorsed by the European Council.

Source: EP Website

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