Investment Plan for Europe: new guidelines on combining European Structural and Investment Funds with the EFSI

Written by Paola Barozza

The Commission, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), explains how to best combine the funds.

The Juncker Commission’s top priority is to get Europe growing again and to increase the number of jobs without creating new debt. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe – and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) both play a crucial role in creating jobs and growth.

A brochure published today is designed to help local authorities and project promoters make full use of the opportunities of combining the EFSI and ESI Funds. These two instruments have been designed in a different but complementary way in terms of rationale, design, and legislative framework. They reinforce each other.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The EFSI was created to be as flexible as possible and there are huge opportunities for project promoters to apply for EFSI financing as well as ESI Funds. The guidelines we are publishing today give practical advice to businesses looking for project financing on how to make the best use of both instruments.”

Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu, said: “Achieving the objectives of the Investment Plan for Europe is a joint effort and all sources and actors need to be mobilised. This is why I will make sure that we fully exploit the growth potential of the ESI Funds, with strategic, performance-oriented investments, boosted by an increased use of financial instruments.”

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Ambroise Fayolle, said: “Bringing together European structural and investment funds with the EFSI will allow the EIB to support sustainable growth throughout European countries and regions. By combining EU grants and EIB financing the bank can reach out to new beneficiaries, in particular smaller projects regrouped in investment platforms.”

The brochure provides an overview of the possible combinations of EFSI and ESI Funds, either at project level or through a financial instrument such as an investment platform. It will be enriched with the experience drawn from concrete cases and feedback received from stakeholders.