Lawmakers greenlight new initiative for strategic investments
InvestEU seeks to generate around €400bn in additional moneysEuropost , Brussels
Lawmakers gave the thumbs up to the new InvestEU programme, which was provisionally agreed with the Council. It will mobilise public and private investments and guarantees simplified access to financing. With its €26bn in current prices, set aside in the EU budget as a guarantee, the programme is expected to mobilise €400bn that will be invested throughout the EU from the current 7-year budget 2021- 2027.
The Commission immediately released a statement, welcoming the Parliament's vote that confirms the political agreement on InvestEU reached in December 2020. “The InvestEU Programme will provide the EU with crucial long-term funding, crowding in private investment, in support of the recovery and helping build a greener, more digital and more resilient European economy,” the EU executive wrote.
The new programme is a component of the €750 bn Next Generation EU recovery package, and will boost strategic, sustainable and innovative investments. Moreover, it will address market failures, sub-optimal investments and the investment gap in targeted sectors.
José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), lead MEP from the Budgets Committee said during the debate that the EU needs public and private investments to become more competitive, productive and to boost its territorial cohesion. InvestEU brings in additional funds to turn projects that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day into reality, he commented noting that the strategic sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, should be independent. We need to help regions that suffered the most, and EU citizens deserve investment and high-quality jobs, Fernandes added.
We diverted more funds to meet environmental targets, to support SMEs, which suffered because of the pandemic, and we succeeded in placing Invest EU at the heart of NextGenerationEU, Irene Tinagli (S&D, IT) leading the negotiations on behalf of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee stated. Since InvestEU will also help us to recover from the pandemic, we created synergies with the Recovery and Resilience Facility, allowing Member States to implement part of their recovery and resilience plans through InvestEU, she pointed out.
InvestEU backs strategic investments in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and supplies - crucial in the midst of a pandemic. I supports as well the production of Information and Communication Technology, components and devices in the EU.
Money will receive also sustainable projects that can prove their positive environmental, climate and social impact. The initiatives should be subject to the principle of “do no significant harm”, they must not negatively affect the EU’s environmental and social objectives.
Lawmakers guaranteed that InvestEU contributes to achieving the target of spending at least 30% of EU funds on climate objectives by 2027 and that it provides support for SMEs negatively affected by the pandemic and at risk of insolvency.
Across the EU are expected additional investments of around €400bn. Around 38% of the EU guarantee will be allotted to sustainable infrastructure, 25% to research, innovation and digitalization, 26 % - to SMEs and the remained 11% - to social investment and skills.
The European Investment Fund (EIF), which will contribute to the implementation of the InvestEU programme, will get an additional €375m.