European Commission wants to double the InvestEU loan programme to €75 billion, but research won’t get any more money
The European Commission has presented plans to almost double the amount offered in guarantees to banks under its InvestEU programme to €75 billion, but kept the slice allocated for research and innovation at €10 billion, as proposed by the European Council in February.
The commission decided to reshuffle its private guarantee fund to help companies recover from the COVID-19, which has left an estimated €846 billion investment gap for 2020-2021.
“COVID-19 risks now to provoke a further terrible blow to investment in Europe,” said EU economy commission Paolo Gentiloni, presenting the revised programme. “We must equip ourselves with the tools to support the private sector.”
The majority of the extra €31 billion of guarantees, fall under the newly introduced Strategic European Investment policy window, which will fund projects that prop up critical infrastructures, develop new technologies to enable the digital and green transitions, and advance pharmaceutical manufacturing and stockpiling.
“Some of these sectors have seen a drastic drop in productivity during this period, and their capacity to invest, some of them, has been cut to zero, so we have to invest for their sake,” said internal market commissioner Thierry Breton.
The actual sum allocated from the EU budget for the guarantees will be €34 billion, 45 per cent of the programme size.