EFSI: five points from an urban perspective

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We have compiled five points that we believe can help cities fully play their role in the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

Boosting investment in support of jobs and growths is a responsibility shared by all levels of government. Cities, as drivers of sustainable economic development, job creation and innovation, should therefore play a key role in the European Commission’s Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The fund is the main channel intended to mobilise €315 billion in private and public investment across the EU as part of the new Commission’s Investment Plan. A partnership between the Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), EFSI will finance higher risk projects, maximising the impact of public investments and unlocking private investments.

We have outlined five points that should be taken into account to realise the full potential of cities in implementing the fund. They address:

  • The general objectives, in particular we call for the explicit mention of infrastructure projects in environmental, urban development and social fields to be maintained.

  • Technical assistance via the European Advisory Hub is much needed in cities to support project structuring and use of innovative financial instruments, and we ask for clarification of how this will work and how cities can benefit from its services.

  • Job gain, in particular we stress that job creation should be an explicit criteria for project selection and that better results in terms of job creation could be achieved if investments support education and skills development at all levels of the labour market.

  • Effective partnership with cities, as we believe EFSI financed operations should complement and strengthen local city actions, and that the integrated approach at local level should be better recognised and enabled by all levels of government.

  • The complementarity of EFSI with existing EU instruments such as Horizon 2020 and the European Structural and Investment Funds, and ensuring that any channelling of funds from these instruments should not undermine investment needs in other areas, such as smart cities and communities and the trans-European transport networks.

Europe’s future lies in its cities: their performance is critical to the EU’s overall global competitiveness. The broader EU agenda needs therefore to recognise the potential of Europe’s cities to deliver on its strategic objectives. Read our statement at the link below for more details on how cities can fully play their role in boosting jobs and growth through EFSI.  

EUROCITIES staff contact

Dorthe Nielsen