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European Fund for Strategic Investments

European Fund for Strategic Investments

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 — the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the European Investment Advisory Hub and the European Investment Project Portal

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • It establishes:
    • a European fund for strategic investments (EFSI);
    • an EU guarantee fund;
    • a European investment advisory hub; and
    • a European investment project portal.
  • It specifies their operating conditions.

KEY POINTS

The EFSI, which can shoulder risks for the European Investment Bank (EIB) through its EU guarantee, supports investment and increased access to finance for companies with up to 3.000 employees. Particular emphasis is given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small middle-capitalisation* companies.

The EFSI’s governance consists of:

  • a Steering Board;
  • a Managing Director;
  • a deputy Managing Director; and
  • an Investment Committee.

The management of the EFSI is based on an agreement between the European Commission and the EIB.

In principle, the EFSI supports projects which carry a higher risk than those the EIB normally backs, and which aim to create jobs and sustainable economic growth.

To be eligible for EFSI support, projects must be:

  • economically and technically viable;
  • make the best use of private sector investment;
  • be consistent with EU policies; and
  • provide additionality* by addressing market failures or sub-optimal investment situations.

EU guarantee and guarantee fund

The guarantee may be used to support objectives such as:

  • research, development and innovation, through, for example
    • projects in line with Horizon 2020
    • research infrastructure
    • knowledge and technology transfer;
  • development of the energy sector (e.g. energy efficiency, renewables), transport infrastructure and equipment, as well as environmental protection and resource efficiency;
  • development and deployment of information and communication technologies;
  • human capital (education), culture and creative industries, and health (more effective medicines);
  • financial support to companies with up to 3.000 employees (for example, working capital and risk finance).

The guarantee may be used to cover EIB loans or other forms of financing or credit, including in favour of national promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds. EIB funding or guarantees to the European Investment Fund (EIF) are also eligible for guarantee coverage.

The EU guarantee may not be more than €16 billion.

The EU guarantee fund is financed from the general EU budget and other sources of income, such as returns on the investment it makes.

European investment advisory hub

  • The hub provides advisory support to identify, prepare and develop investment projects.
  • It acts as a single point of entry for technical assistance in the areas relevant for the EFSI, especially energy efficiency and transport infrastructure.
  • The EU contributes up to €20 million annually towards its costs until the end of 2020.

European investment project portal

This is a publicly accessible, user-friendly database containing details of current and future investment projects in the EU.

Agreement between the European Parliament (EP) and the EIB

In spring 2017, the EP and the EIB signed an agreement under Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 (Article 17). It concerns the detailed arrangements for sharing information between the EP and the EIB, including on the selection procedure for the EFSI Managing Director and the EFSI Deputy Managing Director.

At the EP’s request, the Chairperson of the EFSI Steering Board and the Managing Director are to report to it on the performance of the EFSI. This may include participating in hearings before the EP, issuing reports and responding to questions.

Extension of EFSI

As the EFSI was created for an initial period of 3 years, Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 was amended in December 2017 by Regulation (EU) 2017/2396 which:

  • extends the life of the EFSI until the end of the current multiannual financial framework to enable the mobilisation of at least €500 billion of private and public investment by 2020;
  • increases the EU guarantee to €26 billion;
  • increases the EIB’s contribution to €7.5 billion for the full investment period;
  • adjusts the target rate of the EU guarantee fund to 35% of the total EU guarantee obligation to provide an adequate level of protection;
  • allows for a transfer from the allocation to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) under Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013, as well as from the receipts and repayments under the CEF’s lending instrument and the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure (Marguerite Fund) to partially finance the contribution from the EU’s general budget to the EU guarantee fund for additional investments.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 4 July 2015.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Middle-capitalisation: although there is no common EU definition, these companies, also known as mid-caps, are broadly said to have between 250 and 3.000 employees.
Additionality: in this context, any funding from EFSI may not replace national spending by an EU country, financing under an EU programme or standard EIB operations.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) (EU) 2015/1017 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2015 on the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the European Investment Advisory Hub and the European Investment Project Portal and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013 — the European Fund for Strategic Investments (OJ L 169, 1.7.2015, pp. 1-38)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — Working together for jobs and growth: The role of National Promotional Banks (NPBs) in supporting the Investment Plan for Europe (COM(2015) 361 final, 22.7.2015)

Agreement under Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2015 on the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the European Investment Advisory Hub and the European Investment Project Portal and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013 — the European Fund for Strategic Investments (OJ L 128, 19.5.2017, pp. 1-8)

last update 25.03.2019

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