Report shows pipeline of projects to restore investor confidence and unlock private sector investment
The EU Task Force on Investment has published a report showing there is significant potential for investment in Europe. It identifies about 2,000 projects across Europe worth €1.3trn of potential investments, out of which more than €500bn worth of projects could be implemented in the next three years. Many of these projects are currently not being realised due to financial, regulatory or other barriers.
A transparent pipeline of investment projects
The report recommends immediate action to create a transparent pipeline of investment projects. This is a first step towards creating a transparent pipeline of investable projects. This is an essential measure to restore confidence and encourage investors to invest and build expertise in Europe. The lack of credible and transparent information about projects is currently a major barrier to investment.
The main idea is to provide a pipeline of projects that will restore investor confidence and unlock private sector investment to complement finance from member states and the EU. Projects may successfully access funding from the private sector alone, through member states or other sources of EU funding, including the newly created European Fund for Strategic Investments.
The Task Force focused on projects in key growth-enhancing areas: knowledge, innovation and the digital economy; energy union; transport infrastructure; social infrastructure; and natural resources and the environment. It has also analysed investment with regard to the SMEs and Mid-Caps, the backbone of the EU economy in terms of job creation, innovation and growth.
The Task Force has recommended actions to take:
1. Improve the business environment
Priority should be given to removing significant regulatory and non-regulatory barriers across all the important sectors of infrastructure including: energy, telecoms, digital and transport, as well as barriers in services and product markets and further measures to deepen the Single Market. This includes better regulation and deeper, less fragmented capital markets. At the same time, member states must continue to implement structural reforms that promote a predictable and conducive business climate.
2. Develop national long-term investment plans
Member states need to give a political commitment to develop strategic long-term investment plans and exchange best practices on economically viable projects. These, together with project pipelines, could be published on dedicated websites.
3. Provide technical assistance to help develop sound investment projects
The report recommends that the EU should set up an advisory hub as a one-stop-shop offering a continuous service of advice and expertise for project promoters, investors and public authorities. The EU should also provide advice on project structuring to help promoters attract additional private investment to projects with EU added value.
4. Carry out value for money assessments
For viable projects, Member States should carry out value-for-money assessments to identify the most efficient solutions for structuring projects. The Commission and the EIB should provide advice and develop guidelines on this issue.
5. Promote innovative financial instruments
The report proposes that the European Commission and the European Investment Bank should promote the use of innovative financial instruments to catalyse private investments in projects of EU significance. Member states should also accelerate the use of financial instruments, especially under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
The report concludes that focusing on the right reforms, expanding the role of the private sector and developing an EU infrastructure market will help lift economic growth, competitiveness, employment and social wellbeing.
The report will be discussed by economic and finance ministers today and presented to EU heads of state and government at the European Council on 18-19 December.
The task force on investment was jointly led by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank and included representatives of all member states. It was set up in September atht eh request of EU economic and finance ministers and was mandated to identify concrete actions to boost investment, including a pipeline of potentially viable projects of European relevance to be realised in the short and medium term.