EPP Group in the European Commmittee of the Regions / NEWS
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11 October 2016
EPP local leaders move to regionalise the investment plan
Members of the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions engaged in a lively debate today with Wilhelm Molterer, Managing Director for the European Fund for Strategic Investments on delivering results from the investment plan. The EPP has been a driving force of the EFSI - beginning with European Commission President Juncker and Vice President Katainen - and now it is time to fully reap the benefits from the plan on the grass roots level with the support and involvement of local and regional leaders.

Michael Schneider, President of the EPP-CoR group emphasised the synergies between EFSI and Cohesion Policy: "the Structural funds provide for the sustainable strengthening of economic, social and territorial cohesion while centrally managed initiatives such as the EFSI generate investments at European and national level. They should be mutually complementary and must not conflict with each other."

This vision was supported by Wilhelm Molterer when he addressed the meeting and stated that the "EFSI gives additional possibilities to managing authorities to use scarce public funds as efficiently as possible, and EFSI thus increases the positive impact of structural funds money for the citizens because it leads to more investments on the ground."

President of the European Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula stressed that "Kick-starting Europe's economy, through sustainable and targeted investment in our regions and cities is the European Committee of the Region's top priority.  In order to tackle the biggest challenges to investment at the grass roots level, we must foster capacity-building, cut down the heavy regulatory burden and encourage more small-scale local and regional piloting projects to boost jobs and sustainable growth. As regards to EFSI, we must increase the awareness and expertise of local and regional authorities to gain higher quality projects – much needed financing should be quicker and easier to grasp."

EPP-CoR Member Wim van de Donk, rapporteur for the EFSI 2.0 opinion, stated that “The European Commission has put forward a proposal to extend the European Fund for Strategic Investments in order to further stimulate investments in jobs and growth throughout Europe. It is my job to make sure that practical experiences of cities and regions are being taken into account and will be reflected in the legislation on EFSI 2.0.”
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Note for editors: The EPP Group is a leading force in the European Committee of the Regions; a consultative body which was created in 1994 to give locally and regionally elected representatives of government a say over the content of EU legislation.

For more information contact EPP/CoR Group Press Officers:
Dominik Krakowiak +32 2 282 2539
Saara Mattero +32 2 282 2373

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