In 2015 the EU agreed on an Investment Plan aimed at mobilising more than €315 billion in private and public investment, thereby facilitating economic recovery, job creation and long-term growth and competitiveness. In 2016 the European Commission signalled its intention to prolong the plan. The European Commission also intends to free up an additional €6,3 billion in financing to foster job creation, investment and economic growth as well as to address migration and its root causes in the context of the mid-term review of the multi-annual EU budget 2014-2020. Beside the provision of sufficient financial means to increase the performance in addressing the EUs priorities, the EU Commission wishes to simplify current legislation for the implementation of EU funds and identified room for further improvements to optimizing its spending.
The use of the different available Financial Instruments (e.g. Horizon 2020, Innovfin, Structural funds such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) or the Cohesion Fund (CF) is of great relevance to EAPB members, who as promotional institutions are key actors to contribute to economic and social development in the EU as providers of national promotional finance and intermediators of EU funding. In partnership with the EIB Group, NPBs also play a key role in the successful implementation of the Investment Plan given their complementary product ranges, local knowledge and geographic reach.
However, the complexity of this financial set of rules e.g. regarding ex-ante assessments, the combination of different funds, the delegation of credit decisions or State aid rules has slowed down implementation of the EU funds through promotional institutions and other market players, made it costly and prone to errors. The EAPB represents NPBs’ views and provides input on improving existing financial rules. For this purpose EAPB is a member of the Consultative Group on the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, a key pillar of the Investment plan. The EAPB further acts as observer in the General Forum of the European Investment Fund (EIF)-National Promotional Institutions (NPI)-Equity Platform, aiming to enhance cooperation with NPIs in the market segment. EAPB is also member of the European Commission’s Expert group for the structured dialogue with European structural and investment funds’ for the programming period 2014-2020.