Risks for delays for the Junker Plan
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) also called the Juncker Plan is the latest effort from the European Commission to revive the European Economy. The aim of the plan is to combine and leverage European Public funding with Private Investor Capital to improve the available amount of funding for investments. The strategy is that the public funding in the EFSI instrument will attract Private Investor Capital. In the end the European Commission calculates that the EFSI Instrument will be able to provide well above 300 Billion Euros worth of Investment funding for European Industry.
In addition, the EFSI Instrument will support strategic projects in Europe that will provide new Infrastructure.
The European Fund for Strategic Investment has encountered considerable opposition.
Some of the EU member states have expressed concern that the funding will contribute to increase the deficits in the budget of member states since the EFSI funding needs to be complemented with national funds.
In addition, the European Research community has expressed considerable concerns that the EFSI funding will drain the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation scheme. Considerable resources are expected to be diverted from Horizon 2020 to EFSI, in particular from the Excellent Science Priority. Recently a letter signed by among other 27 Nobel Prize Laurates has been presented to the European Commission urging the Commission to protect Horizon 2020
Third, there are concerns that the funds that will be provided by EFSI are loans in contrast to Horizon 2020 subsidie.
In addition, the European Court of Auditors has expressed concerns regarding the arguments presented by European Commission services to use Horizon 2020 funds to fund EFSI and of the consequences of the drain of Horizon 2020.
Finally the European Parliament has expressed considerable concerns and has promised to oppose EFSI.
According original timetable presented by the EU, EFSI should be operational after the summer 2015. There are Risks for delays for the Junker Plan which may affect both the fund itself and also future Horizon 2020 calls
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