The Investment Plan for Europe was presented today at the headquarters of the European institutions as “a growth opportunity for Spain” at an event attended by Luis de Guindos, Spain’s Minister of the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission (EC) responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Román Escolano, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Pablo Zalba, CEO of the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO). Aránzazu Beristain, Head of the EC’s Representation, welcomed the more than 150 participants, mostly from the world of business and public institutions.
The Investment Plan for Europe aims to leverage at least €500 billion worth of investment by financing innovative projects that are in line with EU policies. It was launched in 2015 to promote investment in strategic projects for the European economy by providing both liquidity and technical assistance with the aim of mobilising investment and ensuring that funding reaches the real economy.
The core of the plan is the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), created to finance the projects of large corporates, SMEs and midcaps, mainly in the areas of strategic infrastructure (digital and transport), research and innovation, education, development of renewable energies, and resource efficiency.
One of the EU’s objectives is to improve the business environment by taking forward the Energy, Capital and Digital Unions. The Investment Plan for Europe represents an opportunity to launch projects in these fields, in which it focuses its investments with a view to fostering long-term growth and competitiveness in the EU Member States.
Since its inception in 2015, the EIB Group has approved 477 projects and transactions throughout the Union under the Investment Plan for Europe, providing total financing of €34 billion which is expected to leverage more than €183 billion. Specifically, in Spain, since the Investment Plan for Europe was launched and up to April of this year, the EIB Group has approved 45 operations in this framework with total financing of more than €4 billion which will serve to pump some €27.8 billion into the country’s economy. Spain is one of the most proactive countries in the EU in terms of presenting projects and obtaining finance under the Investment Plan for Europe to take them forward. You can find more information about “Juncker Plan” projects approved in Spain here.
The representatives of business and public authorities assembled in the Europe room of the headquarters of the European institutions listened attentively to speeches by Luis de Guindos, Jyrki Katainen, Román Escolano and Pablo Zalba on the “enormous growth opportunity” for Spain represented by the Investment Plan for Europe and on the need to present projects fostering growth and jobs.
How to apply for financing
There are a number of ways to access financing under the Investment Plan for Europe. If your investment project is worth more than €50 million you apply directly to the EIB. If the requisite investment is worth less than that, you simply go to one of the financial institutions that have signed an agreement with the EIB. SMEs can also access financing via the intermediaries of the guarantee and equity transactions of the European Investment Fund (EIF). You can find more information about how the Investment Plan for Europe works here.
99.88% of Spain’s businesses are SMEs. The country is home to 3 178 408 SMEs that could choose to apply for EFSI funding by presenting viable innovative projects.
The presentation was streamed live over the Internet and followed on Twitter with great interest throughout Spain. This informative event will continue this afternoon with a workshop on the EIB-run European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH, www.eib.org/eiah) and the EC’s European Investment Project Portal (EIPP, www.ec.europa.eu/eipp).
The workshop will be presented by the EIB’s Mark Mawhinney, head of the EIAH, and EIPP expert Filipa Ramalho. It will be attended by more than 100 entrepreneurs interested in finding out how, where and in what form projects can be submitted.
EC and EIB’s intense information drive
Since 2015, but particularly intensively in 2017, EC executives and experts in Spain and from the EIB, in collaboration with ICO, have been carrying out a continuous public communication drive aimed at business people and institutions throughout Spain. To this end, they have been holding briefing sessions, giving talks, and making presentations on how to obtain financing to develop their projects under the Investment Plan for Europe.
Compliments of the European Investment Bank