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EU investment plan exceeds EUR 315 bn target

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EU investment plan exceeds EUR 315 bn target

Transport project - EIB

(BRUSSELS) - An EU funding plan to fund growth and innovation mobilised EUR 335 billion in additional investment since July 2015, and has made a clear impact on the EU economy, the Commission said Wednesday.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), also known as the Juncker Plan, was launched jointly in 2015 by the EIB Group - the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund - and the European Commission to help overcome the investment gap in the 2015 with a goal of EUR 315 billion.

Since then, 898 operations have been approved, expected to trigger EUR 335 billion in investment across the 28 EU Member States.

700,000 small and medium-sized companies are set to benefit from improved access to finance. As a consequence of the EFSI's success, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed last year to extend its duration and capacity to EUR 500 billion by end-2020.

"The Juncker Plan has proven to be a success," said Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: "We have financed projects which without the EFSI would not have been possible, and all without creating new debt: two thirds of the investment comes from the private sector. From financing job-training for refugees in Finland to renewable energy in Greece to farming in Bulgaria - we will continue to use the EU budget for what it does best: to catalyse growth."

The EIB's Economics Department and the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) estimate that EFSI operations have already supported more than 750,000 jobs with the figure set to rise to 1.4 million jobs by 2020 compared to the baseline scenario. In addition, calculations show that the Juncker Plan has already increased EU GDP by 0.6% and it is set to increase EU GDP by 1.3% by 2020. Two thirds of the €335 billion raised comes from private resources, meaning that the EFSI has also met its objective of mobilising private investment.

Measured against the size of the economy the biggest impact is in countries that were hard hit by the crisis, i.e. Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. While the direct investment impact is particularly high in those countries, the calculations found that cohesion regions (mostly Eastern European countries) are likely to benefit more from a long-term effect.

The EFSI allows the EIB Group to finance operations that are riskier than its average investments. Often, EFSI-backed projects are highly innovative, undertaken by small companies without a credit history, or they pool smaller infrastructure needs by sector and geography. Supporting such projects required the EIB Group to develop new financing products, for example venture debt with equity features or investment platforms. Importantly, the Juncker Plan also enables the EIB to approve a greater number of projects than would be possible without the EU budget guarantee's backing, as well as to reach out to new clients: three out of four receiving EFSI backing are new to the bank.

The top countries ranked by EFSI-triggered investment relative to GDP are Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Finland. Examples range from innovative healthcare solutions in Spain, to the circular economy in Czech Republic, to food production in Greece. Factsheets by country and by sector provide a more detailed overview and further project examples.

Factsheets by country and sector

EIB EFSI complete project list

European Fund for Strategic Investments

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