Today France announced that it would contribute €8 billion in the context of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the core element of the Investment Plan for Europe. The contribution will come via France's National Promotional Banks Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and Bpifrance (BPI).
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "I welcome the excellent news from France. The contribution via the National Promotional Banks will ensure the Investment Plan for Europe is adequately implemented in France, benefitting from the expertise of CDC and BPI. The plan is progressing fast with the commitment of Member States, and we are confident that the results will start to be visible this summer."
The announcement comes just days before European Union finance ministers are due to agree on the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (10 March). The Commission is ready to provide all the technical support needed to get the proposal adopted by the co-legislators swiftly.
National Promotional Banks have a crucial role to play in getting Europe investing again. They have the expertise to carry out the Investment Plan, and they ensure the most efficient use of public resources. Germany announced in February that it would contribute €8 billion to the Investment Plan through their National Promotional Bank KfW, while Spain announced a €1.5 billion contribution through Instituto de Crédito Oficial last week.
The economic crisis brought about a sharp reduction of investment across Europe. That is why collective and coordinated efforts at European level are needed to reverse this downward trend and put Europe on the path of economic recovery. Adequate levels of resources are available and need to be mobilised across the EU in support of investment. There is no single, simple answer, no growth button that can be pushed, and no one-size-fits-all solution. The Commission is setting out an approach based on three pillars: structural reforms to put Europe on a new growth path; fiscal responsibility to restore the soundness of public finances and cement financial stability; and investment to kick-start growth and sustain it over time. The Investment Plan for Europe is at the heart of this strategy.