Skip to main content

EFSI 2.0: The Extension and Enhancement of the European Fund for Strategic Investments as a Case Study for the Review of European Policies

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Economic Growth in the European Union

Part of the book series: Contributions to Economics ((CE))

  • 554 Accesses

Abstract

The EU faces a disinvestment crisis. Its response was the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that I first attempted to evaluate in a 2016 paper. In this chapter, I pursue the endeavor by analyzing three basic points of the EFSI, inasmuch as these are the main aspects that were found to be in need of enhancement: governance and transparency, additionality, and geographical diversification. By focusing on these aspects, I aim to assess the process used by the EU Institutions for the reform of EU policies. The chapter’s conclusion is that the EFSI’s strategy of risk-sharing via the use of public funds and guarantees as leverage so as to mobilize private financing in suboptimal investment situations has succeeded in crowding in significant additional finance, even though its combination with a temporary and intelligent fiscal stimulus would be more efficient in restarting the European economy. Nevertheless, the downside of this relative success is that it has proven the important leveraging capacity of an increased use of financial engineering in a constrained fiscal environment, and has consequently provided legitimacy to the EU structural pattern “Fiscal restraint/Financial ease,” lessening thus the sense of urgency of an EU economic policy overhaul.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. 1.

    For the terms of the EFSI Agreement, see Council of the EU and European Parliament (2015, Article 4).

  2. 2.

    On the reporting and accountability requirements see Council of the EU and European Parliament (2015, rec. 47, 58 and art. 16–18).

  3. 3.

    As Bas Eickhout MEP said, speaking on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group in the plenary session of the European Parliament of December 12, 2017, “In the end, what is important for us as Parliament is to keep our control on the EIB” (European Parliament 2017). Nevertheless, the effort of the Parliament’s co-rapporteurs José Manuel Fernandes and Udo Bullmann to render the Managing Director of the EFSI directly accountable also to the European Parliament regarding the work of the Investment Committee chaired by him did not make it into the final legislative text adopted on December 13, 2017 (Fernandes and Bullmann 2015).

  4. 4.

    Council of the EU and European Parliament (2017) Regulation (EU) 2017/2396 amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) 2015/1017 as regards the extension of duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments as well as the introduction of technical enhancements for that Fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub OJ L 345 (December 13, 2017), pp. 34–52, Articles 1(5)(b) amending Article 7(3) and 1(5)(c) amending Article 7(5) of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  5. 5.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Recital 25, Article 1(5)(g) amending Article 7 Paragraph 12, and Annex amending Annex II Section 5 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  6. 6.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Recitals 26 and 27, and Articles 1(5)(g) amending Article 7 Paragraph 12, and 1(5)(h) amending Article 7 Paragraph 14 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  7. 7.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Articles 1(5)(g) amending Article 7 Paragraph 12, and 1(12) amending Article 17 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  8. 8.

    “The aggregate amount outstanding at any time of loans and guarantees granted by the Bank shall not exceed 250% of its subscribed capital, reserves, non-allocated provisions and profit and loss account surplus. The latter aggregate amount shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amount subscribed (whether or not paid in) for any equity participation of the Bank.

    The amount of the Bank’s disbursed equity participations shall not exceed at any time an amount corresponding to the total of its paid-in subscribed capital, reserves, non-allocated provisions and profit and loss account surplus” (Protocol (No 5) to the Treaties on the Statute of the European Investment Bank, Article 16(5)).

  9. 9.

    EFSI 2.0 readjusted the target rate of the EU Guarantee Fund to 35% of total EU guarantee obligations (Council of the EU and European Parliament 2017, rec. 22 and Article 1(9)).

  10. 10.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Article 1(3) amending Article 5 Paragraph 1 and Annex of the Regulation (EU) 2017/2396 amending Annex II Section 3 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  11. 11.

    “Scoreboard of indicators should be used to ensure that the EU Guarantee is directed towards projects with higher added value” (European Commission 2015a, pp. 20–24, rec. 3).

  12. 12.

    The European Commission’s guidelines for the coordination, synergies and complementarity between the EFSI and the ESIF are contained in a brochure published in February 2016 (European Commission 2016i).

  13. 13.

    In the state of play of July 2016, two member states (Cyprus and Malta) had not yet benefited at all from EFSI investment.

  14. 14.

    See also: “[the Committee] suggests that the investment rate per Member State should be used as a criterion of macroeconomic surveillance” (Committee of the Regions 2014, Point 5).

  15. 15.

    “Geographical Concentration”: “EFSI-supported operations shall not be concentrated in any specific territory at the end of the initial investment period. To this end the Steering Board shall adopt indicative geographical diversification and concentration guidelines. The Steering Board may decide to modify these indicative limits, after consulting the Investment Committee. The Steering Board shall explain its decisions relating to the indicative limits to the European Parliament and the Council in writing. The EFSI should aim to cover all Member States.” (Council of the EU and European Parliament 2015, Annex II, Paragragh 8(b)).

  16. 16.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Recital 15 and Article 1(10)(b) amending Article 14 Paragraph 2 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  17. 17.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Recital 17 and Articles 1(10)(b)(ii) amending Article 14 Paragraph 2 Point (e) and 1(10)(b)(iii) adding Point (f) to Article 14 Paragraph 2 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  18. 18.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Recital 17 and Article 1(10)(b)(i) amending Article 14 Paragraph 2 Point (c) of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  19. 19.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Recital 31 and Article 1(10)(f) adding Paragraph 6a to Article 14 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  20. 20.

    Regulation (EU) 2017/2396, Article 1(a)(v) adding Point (h) to Article 9 Paragraph 2 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017.

  21. 21.

    The need to devise criteria of environmental sustainability, especially in the energy and transport sectors, for investment selection by the EFSI is pointed out by a joint NGO report of October 2016 (Counterbalance et al. 2016); see also recommendations for both the EFSI and the EIAH so as to facilitate increased public–private climate-related investment and thus to move faster toward a green transition in Bowman (2017).

References

Download references

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Mr. Alexandros Kyriakidis for his research assistance and Ms. Antonia Koumpoti and Ms. Despina Damianidou for their editing assistance.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ioannis Papadopoulos .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Papadopoulos, I. (2020). EFSI 2.0: The Extension and Enhancement of the European Fund for Strategic Investments as a Case Study for the Review of European Policies. In: Nikas, C. (eds) Economic Growth in the European Union. Contributions to Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48210-7_8

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics