Juncker Plan exceeds €250 billion in investment and backs new deals in Slovenia, France and Ireland

Following this week’s meeting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Board of Directors, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is now expected to trigger more than €251.6 billion in investments. The deals approved under the EFSI amount to €49.6 billion in financing and are located in all 28 Member States. Around 528,000 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are expected to benefit from improved access to finance. As of November, the top five countries ranked in order of investment triggered relative to GDP are Estonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal and Spain. The EIB Group has also signed new agreements in Slovenia, France and Ireland. In Slovenia, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and SID Banka, the Slovene export and development bank, are launching a €100 million equity investment programme in Slovenia to support growing SMEs and mid-cap companies. Also in Slovenia, the EIB is lending €51 million to Slovenian company DARS to finance the introduction of an electronic tolling system for vehicles above 3.5t using the country’s motorway network, which will ease traffic flow. In France, the EIB is supporting an innovative renewable energy project by providing €90 million to Valeco to construct 38,000 solar panels with a total energy of 12MW covering the energy consumption of 6,000 local homes, saving 13,340 tonnes of CO2 per year. Finally, the EIF and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) are tripling their finance for Irish SMEs, with €330 million now available to around 10,000 businesses. All of these agreements benefit from the guarantee of the Investment Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “With nearly 80% of the original €315 billion investment target now reached, we are seeing the tangible benefits of the Investment Plan every day. With the climate change conference in Bonn just coming to a close, it is fitting that we celebrate the launch of an innovative project in solar energy. Under EFSI 2.0, we place even more emphasis on financing projects in line with the Paris Agreement targets to transition towards a low-carbon economy.”