EU ambassadors today confirmed a provisional agreement reached between the Council presidency and the Parliament on InvestEU, a new programme supporting investment and job creation in the EU.
The aim of InvestEU is to encourage public and private investor participation in financing and investment operations by providing guarantees from the EU budget to address failures and sub-optimal investment situations. It builds on the success of the European fund for strategic investments (EFSI) which was launched in 2015 to close the investment gap in the EU in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis.
The new programme will bring together 14 different financial instruments currently available to support investment in the EU.
Key features of the programme
InvestEU will have a budget guarantee of €26.2 billion (in current prices), which will be indicatively divided between its four policy windows as follows:
- Sustainable infrastructure: 37.8% (€9.9 billion);
- Research, innovation and digitalisation: 25.1% (€ 6.6 billion);
- SMEs: 26.4% (€ 6.9 billion)
- Social investment and skills: 10.6% (€ 2.8 billion).
The strategic European investment window proposed by the Commission in May has been integrated into the other four policy windows, which may support final recipients whose activities are of strategic importance to the EU.
The InvestEU programme is expected to mobilise around €370 billion of investment, contributing to the recovery while ensuring a strong investor focus on the EU’s medium- and long-term policy priorities.
At least 30% of the investments under InvestEU will contribute to EU climate objectives and a Just Transition Scheme will be established horizontally across all policy windows to support territories most negatively affected by the transition process towards EU climate neutrality by 2050 and by the achievement of the EU’s 2030 climate target.
As a horizontal principle, only those investment projects which comply with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle of the EU taxonomy regulation may receive funding under InvestEU.
Member states will be able to use the InvestEU programme to implement their recovery and resilience plans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. In addition, they will also have the possibility to channel some of their structural funds to InvestEU, adding to the provisioning of the EU guarantee.
Implementation and governance
The main investment partner for the implementation of the programme will be the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) which has implemented and managed the EFSI. In addition, national promotional banks and international financial institutions will have direct access to the EU guarantee.
The governance set-up for the InvestEU programme will reflect the positive experience with the EFSI. More specifically, the programme will be governed by:
- a steering board, responsible for determining the strategic and operational guidance for InvestEU. It will be composed of four representatives of the Commission, three representatives of the EIB and two representatives of other implementing partners. The EP will appoint an expert with no voting rights.
- an advisory board, consisting of representatives of the implementing partners, representatives of member states, one expert appointed by the European Economic and Social Committee and one expert appointed by the Committee of the Regions. It will provide advice on the design of financial products deployed under the InvestEU Fund and discuss evolving needs and new products, including specific territorial market gaps.
- an investment committee composed of independent experts, responsible for providing external expertise in investment assessments in relation to projects and the granting of support from the EU guarantee. The secretariat of the investment committee will be located in the Commission, but will answer directly to the Chair of the investment committee. All implementing partners will have access to the investment committee by submitting their proposals for financing and investment operations through the secretariat, while the EIB will be able to submit its proposals directly to the investment committee.
The Parliament and the Council are expected to adopt the programme after legal-linguistic revision in early 2021.