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Date 27/11/2014

FIEC welcomes President Juncker’s investment plan for growth and jobs! Action should now materialise very quickly!

"We welcome very much the creation of a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as announced by President Juncker this morning”, says Johan Willemen, FIEC President, "Even if we could argue about the amount of EU budget and EIB money initially mobilised in this fund, this is not the point today. The creation of this leverage instrument is very good news and a very good signal for EU and international private investors!” 

"Moreover, President Juncker is absolutely right to target long-term investment for key EU infrastructure projects on one hand, and financing for SMEs on the other,” continues Willemen. "These two priorities are very high on FIEC’s agenda, as we have stated in our Manifesto for action for the EU term 2017-2019!” 

"In addition to these two priorities”, recalls Willemen, "we should not forget projects in the field of energy efficiency, as they represent an essential link to EU energy and climate policy!” 

"We also understand that any national contribution to the EFSI will not be counted in the calculation of public deficit, which is a very important incentive FIEC has always called for in order for the Member States to invest in European projects!”, stresses Willemen. 

"It is true that some aspects of the plan still need to be clarified after today’s announcement”, says Willemen, "namely regarding the exact list of projects identified”. "However”, Willemen concludes, "there is not a minute to lose now: actions should materialise as quickly as possible to ensure the credibility and success of this ambitious plan!”

Background: On Monday 24th November in Luxembourg, FIEC had the opportunity to present to the Task Force a few ideas for reflection on solutions to barriers to investment. Amongst others, FIEC mentioned that: neither public funds mobilised through President Juncker’s investment plan, nor national co-funding for projects identified in this framework and supported by EU funds, should be included in the calculation of public deficit; the relevant policy and legal environment should be improved, simplified, and above all, stabilised; all reasonable alternatives to traditional bank lending should be considered (incl. "user pays” schemes); and companies should benefit from more support to undertake good feasibility studies, socio-economic and environmental assessments for better preparation of the projects.

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