Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 18

that have no economic viability – projects will
be carefully chosen in line with our current
funding guidelines.
“In 2012, EU member states (the bank’s
shareholders) agreed to increase the EIB’s
paid-in capital by €10bn on the understanding
that this would allow the EIB to increase
lending activity by 40% between 2013 and
2015. Since then, we hope to have supported
additional projects collectively worth €180bn
across Europe by the end of this year, and we
are already well on track to delivering the
commitment to provide an enhanced
response and are set to exceed the target
agreed in 2012.
“The projects the EIB supports are based on
real proposals – just because we have an
increase in capital, doesn’t mean we will begin
building a bridge or setting up a 4G telecoms
system. We are a bank, and we need firms and
institutions to come to us with a project idea
that we can support.”
“Paradigm shift”
Willis then drew attention to the changing focus
of the projects the EIB has been funding over
recent years, concentrating on greater
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
18
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : A N I N V E S T M E N T P L A N F O R E U R O P E ?
Wales has been privatised for nearly 20 years now, whilst in other
countries in Europe, the industry continues to be in public hands. This
area is one example where the benefits of EIB investment are being
harnessed by both the public and private sectors. EIB funding is also
benefitting research institutes and universities across Europe.”
Speed
The Investment Plan requires new legislation to be passed by the
Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, including
amendments to existing regulations. Whilst such legislation is expected
to be adopted soon, Willis commented that Europe is already lagging
behind its major global competitors in terms of investing in new projects
and infrastructure, but was adamant that EFSI funding would not be
used inappropriately.
“The EIB has committed itself to working hard and fast to develop robust
plans on investment. The bank has also dedicated itself to identifying
and funding the first projects to be covered by the EFSI, though this is
dependent on the length of the appraisal to assess technical and
economic feasibility. It is likely that the EIB will choose the projects to
receive funding and agree the first financing packages before EFSI
legislation is in place and other Investment Plan structures have been
fully finalised. Such moves will ensure that investment is not delayed.
“The EIB is looking at supporting solid projects which are economically
and technically feasible, in addition to fulfilling the regular environmental
and social criteria the bank has in place. Where there is justification, it
is likely that slightly riskier projects will be assessed and financed under
the EFSI. We are not setting up the EFSI to finance ‘white elephants’
EIB president
Werner Hoyer has
greeted the bank’s
new responsibilities
positively
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