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EU reveals EUR 1.3 tn Juncker plan 'wish list'

09 December 2014, 22:57 CET
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EU reveals EUR 1.3 tn Juncker plan 'wish list'

Jean-Claude Juncker - Photo © European Union 2014 - source EP

(BRUSSELS) - EU nations unveiled a list of 2,000 projects worth 1.3 trillion euros on Tuesday that will compete for financing from an investment plan announced by Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.

The projects range from a breakwater for the Valletta port in Malta, an airport expansion in Germany's Frankfurt, to a underwater fibre-optic link between the Canary Islands and Brazil.

The list released on Tuesday is a first selection from exhaustive wish-lists submitted by the EU's 28 member states.

Juncker last month revealed a 315-billion euro ($370 million) investment scheme to "kickstart" the EU's stalling economy, amid global concerns about its health.

The plan will be run by the European Commission -- the EU's executive arm -- and the European Investment Bank, with projects picked by "independent experts" according to their ability to capture private investor interest.

"There are already a mass of projects that exceeds the capacity of the financing that we're going to implement," Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

Juncker's plan "isn't for this or that country, this or that existing project, but for new investments that will create more growth," Moscovici said.

Officials who worked on the list insisted it was just a "first step" but not the finalised future programme.

The Juncker plan is financed by 21 billion euros in seed money.

This involves eight billion euros of existing EU budget funds, which will swell to 16 billion euros in the form of guarantees. It also includes five billion euros from the Luxembourg-based EIB.

Leaders of the 28-nation EU must approve the plan at a summit in December, and are expected to fight for their pet projects.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said it was important that the projects remained outside politics.

"I think is the right way to do it, because we want to have sensible projects which can also have a good turnover," he said.

The Juncker plan is set to be operational by mid-2015 and spool out over three years.

Investment Offensive for Europe - 
2,000 potential projects worth 
EUR 1.3 trillion - background guide

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