SMEs to benefit as Investment Plan for Europe hits €500 billion target ahead of time

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 02 July 2020

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group have delivered on their pledge to mobilise €500 billion in investment by the end of 2020 under the Investment Plan for Europe.

Some 1,400 operations have been approved under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), using a budget guarantee from the European Union and resources from the EIB Group.

They are expected to trigger close to €514 billion in additional investment across EU countries and to benefit some 1.4 million small and mid-sized companies.

In 2017, when the European Council and the European Parliament agreed to broaden the EFSI's scope and size, the goal was to mobilise €500 billion by the end of 2020 to address the investment gap left as a result of the 2007/8 financial and economic crisis.

Since then, and especially after the coronavirus outbreak, the focus of the EFSI shifted: it has inspired InvestEU, the European Commission's new investment programme for 2021-2027, and is already contributing to the Corona Response Investment Initiative.

EFSI will also play a key role in the NextGenerationEU package of measures to rebuild the European economy after the pandemic via a top-up for a Solvency Support Instrument, which aims to prevent insolvencies in European businesses.

Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The Investment Plan for Europe is a success. Over the past five years, it has enabled the financing of hundreds of thousands of businesses and projects, delivering on our ambitions of making Europe more green, innovative and fair. We will continue this through NextGenerationEU.”

European Investment Bank Group President, Werner Hoyer, said: “EFSI can serve as a blueprint for action during the coronavirus response. Knowing that we exceeded the headline figure of €500 billion of investment ahead of time is proof of the power of partnership.

"The success of this initiative shows what Europe can achieve with the right tools: our continent has become more social, green, innovative and competitive. We can and we should build on our experience to overcome the current crisis. It will help us to shape a Europe all of us can be proud of.”

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