In November 2014, the European Commission decided to boost the European Investment Plan as a response to low EU investment levels. This European Investment Plan—also known as the Juncker Plan—proposes to put at least €315B of private and public investments into circulation between 2015 and 2017 to kick-start growth and employment in the European Union.
Its specific goals are as follows:
- Boost investment
- Increase competitiveness
- Support long-term UE economic growth
The European Fund for Strategic Investments is the principal pillar of this plan. The fund will use public funding to drive extra private investment. It will offer credit risk coverage on financing provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and by the European Investment Fund (EIF). Thus, the European Fund for Strategic Investments will assume part of the risk that corresponds to the EIB, meaning that this institution will be able to invest in higher risk projects. It is expected that the EIB participation will attract private investment to projects of this nature.
Total budget: €21B
- €5B from the European Investment Bank
- €16B in the form of EU guarantees
These funds have the ultimate goal of generating €315B in private capital.
It is a plan that will be run with non-competitive tendering. Projects will have to start between 2015 and 2017. Projects with over 50% already finished in the moment of application will not be accepted.
Project eligibility criteria
- Be economically and technically viable.
- Further EU objectives.
- Have the potential to receive financing from other sources.
- Be projects that require the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and that could not be performed with the support of other EIB or UE instruments (Additionality).
Types of eligible projects and how to apply
- Projects with a budget over €25M. They can now apply to the European Investment Bank.
- Projects with a budget less than €25M. They still cannot apply as joint application formulas areunder study, in order to reach the €25M budget level.
- R+D projects of innovative medium-sized firms with a budget between €7,5M and €25M. There is a specific instrument for these projects: InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance.
- SME projects. They have to apply to the European Investment Fund.
Priority project areas
- Infrastructure development.
- Research, development and innovation.
- Investment in education, training, health and information and communication technologies.
- Development in the energy sector.