On 26 November, the European Commission announced a EUR 315 billion Investment Plan to put Europe back on the track to growth and create new jobs for Europeans.
The Plan is built on three main strands:
- The creation of a new European Fund for Strategic Investments in partnership with the European Investment Bank, which is expected to mobilise at least EUR 315 billion of additional investment in the real economy over the next three years up until 2017. This fund will rely on a limited investment of EUR 16 billion from the EU budget and EUR 5 billion made available by the EIB and is expected to leverage 15 times as much in capital in the real economy;
- The establishment of a credible and transparent project pipeline coupled with technical assistance to channel investments where they are mostly needed;
- An ambitious roadmap to make Europe more attractive for investments and remove existing financial and regulatory barriers.
The European Parliament and the December European Council have been invited to endorse this Investment Plan for Europe in the coming weeks, and the European Commission should propose the relevant regulation by January 2015 so that the co-legislators can discuss it with a view to its entry into force in June 2015.
Juncker’s growth plan has been received with mixed reactions by policy analysts and social partners. Some have welcomed it as an attempt to boost investment and jobs, while others have judged it to be overambitious, casting doubts on its ability to deliver the projected leverage effect in the real economy, especially if Member States are not fully brought on-board (see statement made by CEEP). Social partners like Social Platform have also warned that beyond focusing on job creation and access, the package should also make a strong commitment to invest on social policies if the European Social Model is to be preserved (see article in EurActiv for further information).