The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's vote today, confirming 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.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “Today's European Parliament vote on InvestEU is a major step forward on Europe's road to recovery – unlocking more investment and innovation potential while creating and maintaining jobs. InvestEU will be vital for supporting a more resilient and sustainable economy, and make EU funding simpler to access and more effective at a time when it is most needed. It is now time to focus on putting InvestEU into full effect as quickly as possible.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy said: “Whether one considers the green and digital transitions, our innovation capacity or our social model, it is clear that in the coming years we will need to do everything possible to boost investment in Europe. InvestEU will have an important role to play to that effort. By crowding in funding and aligning private investors with EU policy priorities, InvestEU is a cost-efficient way to maximise the impact of European taxpayers' money.”
The investment programme of the EU
Through an EU budget guarantee, the InvestEU programme will leverage substantial private and public funds to support investments and create jobs, building on the successful implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). It will provide and attract long-term funding in line with EU policies and contribute to the recovery from a deep economic and social crisis.
InvestEU will have a budgetary guarantee of €26.2 billion funded from NextGenerationEU resources and the Multiannual Financial Framework. The overall investment to be mobilised on this basis is estimated at more than €372 billion across the EU, of which 30% will contribute to climate objectives.
The programme will be structured around four policy windows:
- Sustainable Infrastructure
- Research, Innovation and Digitisation
- Social Investment and Skills
Strategic investments focusing on building stronger European value chains as well as supporting activities in critical infrastructure and technologies will be possible under all four windows. They will cater for the future needs of the European economy and promote the EU's open strategic autonomy in key sectors.
Objectives and beneficiaries
InvestEU will help the EU meet the two objectives of the green transition and the digital transformation. It will support the European Green Deal and contribute to the EU achieving the target of climate neutrality by 2050. Furthermore, InvestEU will provide for a dedicated Just Transition Scheme to generate additional investments to the benefit of the regions most affected by the socio-economic consequences of green transition.
The InvestEU Regulation also enables to provide capital support to SMEs which since 2019 face significant risks due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. To benefit from support, SMEs will need to have a viable business model and contribute to long term EU policy objectives.
Member States will also have the option to use InvestEU as a tool to implement their recovery and resilience plans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
The InvestEU guarantee will be open to the EIB group and also to multiple implementing partners, including international financial institutions and national promotional banks and institutions. This will facilitate a rapid deployment of the funds and ensure local outreach.
The Council now also needs to formally approve the agreement reached, before the Presidents of the ECOFIN Council and the European Parliament can sign it. The Regulation will then be published in the Official Journal, allowing it to enter into force three days after publication. The Commission expects all the necessary formal steps to be concluded in time for the Regulation to enter into force beginning of April 2021. The Commission and the Implementing partners will finalise the necessary procedures and agreements so that that companies and project promoters can already start applying for financing in the coming months.