Bleak economic prospects have been dominating in Europe for years. The European economy has still not recovered - even years after the crisis; the investment volume is 15 percent below the level prior to the crisis. Based on these reasons, the Commission launched the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which, with the help of 16 billion Euros from EU funds and 5 billion Euros on behalf of the European Investment Bank and with the involvement of private investors, shall generate an investment amount of 315 billion Euros for selected projects. Whilst on the one hand, attempts are being made to mobilise more private investments, Member States have hardly the option of making public investments.
And herein lies the main problem of the Juncker Plan. The Chamber of Labour criticises that because of the pressure due to austerity, private investments would just be sufficient to compensate for the fall of the public investment quota since 2010 – provided the 315 billion Euros is realised in the first place. Furthermore, the question remains whether the only reason why individual projects do not succeed, lies in funding problems and that therefore they have to rely on EFSI or whether the reason for their failure is a general lack of demand. In particular the favourable framework conditions based on very low interest rates should increase the room for manoeuvre for public investments, thereby strengthening the positive effects on the economy. That is why the Chamber of Labour requests the implementation of a golden rule of investing. In addition, the Chamber of Labour sees the risk of a further “communitarisation of losses and privatisation of profits”.
Press Release of the Commission (available only in English)
Questions and Answers on the Investment Plan (available only in English)