Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 20

investment; secondly, targeted initiatives to ensure that these investments
respond to the real needs of the economy; and thirdly, and finally,
measures to provide greater regulatory predictability and eliminate
barriers to investments, thus making Europe more attractive to investors
and multiplying the impact of the plan.
EU member states have already submitted project proposals to be funded
under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The main
areas of investment for which projects have been submitted are the
knowledge and digital economy, which includes public and private
investment in research and development projects; the EU’s Energy Union,
which provides for interconnection and energy production, as well as
energy efficiency projects; transport, which includes corridors and
connections, promoting entrepreneurship and urban transport; social
infrastructure, entailing development of educational institutions; the
health sector; and environmental and urban projects, including the
efficient and safe use of natural resources and addressing climate
change issues.
It is important to note that with the Investment Plan and the EFSI, it is
also vital to make other reforms. Economic growth depends on favourable
conditions for private investment, prevention of legislative bottlenecks
hindering investment, and structural reforms. It is particularly significant
that the reforms are initially supported by each EU member state so that
a common result can later be achieved. If this is respected, the
Investment Plan for Europe will bring a much better contribution.
L
atvia has three overarching priorities during its six-month
Presidency of the Council of the European Union –
encouraging a ‘Competitive Europe’, developing a ‘Digital
Europe’ and ensuring an ‘Engaged Europe’. A central plank of this
first priority is implementing the Investment Plan for Europe, and
Latvian Finance Minister Jaˉ nis Reirs has designated the so-called
‘Juncker Plan’ a cornerstone of the country’s Presidency.
In an exclusive interview with Portal, Reirs sets out the core
aspects of the investment scheme, the benefits it will have for both
Latvia and EU member states, and the impact on Horizon 2020.
Reirs, who currently chairs the Economic and Financial Affairs
Council, will help steer the plan through its legislative stages on
behalf of EU member states.
How do you evaluate the Investment Plan for Europe?
The Investment Plan for Europe will be one of the most important
instruments for promoting growth in the EU economy; the plan aims to
stimulate the attraction of investment and encourage job creation in the
Union. Between 2015 and 2018, the plan provides for at least €315bn
of investment to be mobilised into the EU’s economy, benefitting both
the Union as a whole and each member state.
The plan will be based on three complementary sections: firstly,
mobilisation of at least €315bn of investment over the next three years,
increasing the impact of public resources and the attraction of private
Latvia’s cornerstone
Heralded as a central policy of Latvia’s Council Presidency, Finance Minister
Jaˉnis Reirs
speaks exclusively to
Portal
about the Investment Plan for Europe
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
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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 ?
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