National governments give the green light for successor to the Juncker Plan, and want to set up an independent committee to help oversee the €38 billion loan guarantee fund
EU member states have agreed on an amended version of InvestEU, the €38 billion loan fund originally proposed by the European Commission in June last year and endorsed by the European Parliament in January.
InvestEU will bring the 14 different financial instruments that are currently available to support investment into one programme, with €11.25 billion worth of loan guarantees earmarked for research and innovation.
The EU Council amendments include the creation an “Investment Committee,” of independent experts who will assess if projects are technically and economically viable and give approval to EU support.
The committee will be required to publish the rationale for each of its approvals. It is to be supported by a secretariat composed of Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) staff. However, the Council did not reach an agreement on where this secretariat is to be based.
Like the Juncker Plan, InvestEU will see the Commission provide guarantees for EIB loans, with the aim of securing financing for infrastructure and other projects that would otherwise be too risky to invest in. The Commission claims this will trigger €650 billion in private investment on top of that provided by the EIB.
However, at the end of January, the European Court of Auditors criticised the Commission and the EIB for exaggerating the benefits of the Juncker Plan, arguing the claim it had “mobilised” €335 billion of private capital was “overstated.” The auditors said that some of that investment would have occurred anyway.