InvestEU: the new EU investment plan 2021 – 27 to drive €650bn for sustainable growth, job creation and innovation for shared prosperity and a just society
PlusValue welcomes the proposed InvestEU program, an enlarged and ambitious successor to the Juncker Plan (see European Commission press release here). InvestEU is a €15.2bn program which will allow the EU budget to provide a €38bn guarantee facility to catalyse up to €650bn investments. The facility will crowd in both capital and expertise from a wide array of public and private partners, including the EBRD, the World Bank, the Council of Europe Bank and national promotional banks.
The overall goal of InvestEU is to drive more investment towards sustainable growth, job creation and innovation for shared prosperity and a just society. The targets areas are: sustainable infrastructure, research, innovation and digitisation, SMEs, social investment and skills
We particularly welcome the €4bn InvestEU ‘Social Window’. This is an 80% increase on the current commitment and will boost investment into much needed social infrastructure, social services, and human capital. This commitment meets the recommendations of the High Level Task Force on Investment in Social Infrastructure led by Professor Prodi.
Fiorenza Lipparini & Filippo Addarii, founders of PlusValue: “We are encouraged by the new emphasis on social investment. We are passionate about the sector and called for 1bn outcome-based Fund under EFSI in our paper on the transformative potential of social innovation in Europe. The proposed InvestEU exceeds our expectations. We are optimistic reading that the new MFF (ie EU budget 2021 - 27) puts investing in people at the centre of all European programmes and policies”.
The inclusion of advisory services is a key development in the program and will ensure an effective use the program for all recipients. Therefore, we call the EU to include experts in social innovation and impact investing to be included.
At PlusValue we have first-hand experience in the power of EU guarantee programs and public banks to steer investment with both public and private benefits. We worked with the Australian developer Lendlease and the EIB to secure financing for a new hospital in Treviso and built into the financial arrangements a social impact fund to invest in the health focussed start-ups in the community. The EIB loan was supported by an EFSI guarantee. This is an example of the potential for public and private innovators who are able to think creatively about the use of guarantee facilities to leverage capital for the creation of lasting economic and social value.
Dr Lieve Fransen, Senior Policy Adviser & PlusValue Fellow: “This is a quantum leap towards a better future for Europe. Over 20 years I’ve been working on innovation of health, education and housing to better lives of citizens and communities: previously in the European Commission andthen, most recently, with stakeholders such as Prodi’s High-Level Task-Force and PlusValue. Finally I see the EU making this area a pillar of its policy and backing it with a noticeable financial commitment”
We see the proposed program as a major step forward and look forward to working with the Commission and Parliament in the coming months to refine and finalise InvestEU.