Friday, 23 January 2015

EFSI-consequenses for Regional policy

Juncker´s investmentplan (EFSI) has an unusual mildness concerning member states co-financing of projects, in that co-financing of EFSI-projects will be excluded from calculations of budgetary adjustments under the Stability and Growth Pact. This can be perceived as a sort of debt relief for countries with an austerity scheme, and there is also a question of consequences for Regional policy projects - where there is no such mildness concerning co-financing. EurActiv writes that this certainly gives the Juncker plan a competitive advantage over the Cohesion Policy when it comes to attracting money from the member states.

Commissoner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, talked to the Committee of Regions 5 December 2014, and said that the Juncker plan funding would complement the Cohesion Policy, without eating away structural funds. She said that "during the discussions, some representatives expressed concerns that the Investment Plan for Europe could divert money away from the EU's existing cohesion policies and I want to resolutely dispel these concerns: there is no overlap between the new European Fund for Strategic Investments and the European Structural and Investment Fund".

There seems to be uncertainties on how the complementarities between EFSI and Regional policy will function. It is not entirely inconceivable that to counteract collateral damage also co-financing of Regional policy projects will be excluded from calculations of budgetary adjustments. 

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