S&D Euro MPs call on Juncker’s Commission to speed up roll-out of the Investment Plan
S&D MEPs today voiced strong concern about the lack of progress by the European Commission and European Investment Bank in collecting national contributions for the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
The EFSI is the financial arm of the €315 billion investment plan proposed by the Juncker Commission to restore growth and jobs in Europe.
Speaking in the Parliament’s plenary session in Brussels, Maria João Rodrigues, S&D Group MEP and vice-president for economic and monetary affairs said:
“Europe needs a massive dose of investment for the real economy – not just words. We are worried that EU member states are not making capital pledges for the fund so far.
"We are convinced that this strong capital base for the new fund is fundamental to allow it to increase its lending capacity and boost job creation. The EU budget guarantee alone is not enough to attract private investors. We need capital pledges before the informal European Council in February.”
She called on the European Commission to make sure that all member states contribute to the fund for capital and projects, including those countries with a public deficit above 3% of GDP.
On Greece, she added:
“We need a joint plan for Greece, negotiated by the European institutions (Commission, Council and Parliament) and based on fiscal responsibility but focusing on restoring the prospects for growth, investment and jobs in Greece."
S&D Euro MP and negotiator on the investment plan for the economic and monetary affairs committee Udo Bullmann said:
“There are no substantial forces in this Parliament or in European politics which do not take the view that we have a huge investment deficit. We must do something to get back to growth and promote employment and job creation.”
He insisted on the need to finance projects with social added value:
“The European Parliament should be fully involved in the governance of the fund as well as in the selection of projects.
Eider Gardiazábal, S&D Euro MP and negotiator on the investment plan for the Parliament's budget committee, stressed:
“This plan and the new interpretation of the fiscal rules – the 'flexibility' we have been calling for – are the starting point for a change in economic policy. They go in the right direction.
“Investment is the most powerful tool for Europe to reform and modernise its economy.
"We need this plan to start working quickly in order to reactivate the economy and bring back the welfare that austerity has destroyed."