EU Funding

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The European Commission makes direct financial contributions in the form of grants in support of projects or organizations which further the interests of the EU or contribute to the implementation of an EU programme or policy. The funding is available for projects in all the EU member states.

The funding provided is in the form of loans and grants for a broad range of projects and programmes covering areas such as education, health, consumer protection, environmental protection and humanitarian aid. Funding is managed according to strict rules which help to ensure that there is tight control over how funds are used and that funds are spent in a transparent and accountable manner.

Vision

The EU plans to reverse the downward trend of investment and put Europe back on the path of recovery. Europe’s growth catalyzed through growing investment is also a top priority for the Juncker Commission.

Firstly, the investment plan aims to boost investment through private investors who have been more risk averse in the recovery of the post-crisis era. Secondly, the plan is dedicated to companies and projects with a riskier profile but with potentially significant added value.

Mission

Remove obstacles to investments by deepening the single market.

Provide visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

Make smarter use of existing financial resources and facilitate private investment in value adding projects.

Solution

To accomplish its objectives, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have established the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) within the EIB.

EFSI’s mission is to break the under-confidence and make use of liquidity held by private investors.

INVESTMENT PLAN FOR EUROPE OUTLINE

1. European Fund for Strategic Investments

This is essentially a EUR 21 billion risk management tool designed to aid and facilitate investment from already existing capital pools in riskier project. This was put together by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, and the aim is to mobilize at least EUR 315 bn in investment.

2. Support through the EIAH and the EIPP

The Investment Plan for Europe aims to help project promoters in the development of the financing application through the European Investment Advisory Hub. Furthermore, as a means to connect projects with investors, the IPE has also built a European Investment Project Portal.

3. Regulatory environment improvement

One of the current priorities of the Commission seems to be the identification and elimination of regulatory bottlenecks that slow down investments.

KEY SECTORS FOR EU FUNDING

1. Strategic infrastructure, including digital, transport and energy
2. Expansion of renewable energy and resource efficiency
3. Environmental, urban development and social projects
4. Education and training, research, development and innovation
5. Support for smaller businesses and midcap companies

Eligible applicants

1. Companies of all sizes, including small and medium enterprises (up to 250 employees) and midcaps (up to 3000 employees)
2. Utilities
3. Public sector entities
4. National promotional banks or other banks delivering intermediated lending
5. Bespoke investment platforms

Eligibility criteria
1. Commercially sound, economically and technically viable
2. Contributing to EU objectives and to sustainable growth and employment
3. Mature enough to be bankable
4. Priced in a manner commensurate with the risk taken

Application mechanics

As financing operations will be on the EIB’s balance sheet, all applicants are subject to standard EIB due diligence and approval by its governing bodies.

Project promoters should follow standard EIB loan application procedures SMEs and midcaps interested in EFSI transactions should refer to information on EIF financial intermediaries

SMEs, however, do have a wider range of possibilities to access EFSI funds; either through a financial intermediary (as stated below) or through a risk capital fund