Commission launches two new financial instruments to boost investments in start-ups and sustainable urban development

In the 2014-2020 period, the Commission is encouraging Member States to double their European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds investments used through financial instruments, such as loans, equity and guarantees, in line with the objectives of the Investment Plan. Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Crețu said: “Financial instruments are an efficient way to invest in new ideas, businesses and in the talent of EU citizens while using less public resources. Their potential to mobilise private capital is huge, and it should be fully exploited when investing the ESI Funds.” Already compliant with the ESI Funds Regulation and State Aid rules, “off-the-shelf” financial instruments are designed to increase the take-up by Member States of revolving financial support rather than traditional grants, and to combine public and private resources. The two new instruments launched today are a co-investment facility, to provide more funding for start-ups and SMEs, and an urban development fund, to support sustainable urban projects in public transport, energy efficiency or the regeneration of urban areas, for example. A full press release is available here. More information on ESI Funds and financial instruments is available on DG REGIO’s website and on the European Investment Bank’s website.