Published: Thu, 01 October 2020
Seán Kelly MEP is driving the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) demand that EU Member States revise their July budget agreement and allocate sufficient funds for the EU Investment Plan.
As the author of the report adopted today (Thursday), the Ireland South MEP said that the European Council’s decision to cut budget for InvestEU, the EU’s flagship investment programme, was “nonsensical” at a time when there is an urgent need to inject money into EU economies and support small businesses.
“Member States have made the nonsensical decision to reduce the InvestEU budget to a level below the original proposal from 2018 – now down to EUR 9.1 billion, from the EUR 34 billion proposed, as per the July Agreement.
“This is unacceptable; the need to drive investment into the European economy is far greater now than it was two years ago. With the July agreement, Member States sent the wrong signal to European businesses that were counting on an ambitious successor programme to the Juncker Plan.
“The original investment plan – the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – launched by President Juncker in 2014, is expected to trigger EUR 524.4 billion in investments, to the benefit of around 1,414,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Unfortunately, if the Member States’ July budget agreement stands, President von der Leyen will not have a comparable legacy to boast at the end of her term in office.
“This is a programme designed to invest in SMEs across Europe. These companies are our main job creators, but also the ones that have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. We must support them as part of a jobs-led economic recovery. A well-funded investment plan is essential for this to be a success.
“With today’s vote, and its cross-party demand for an adequately funded EU Investment Plan, I am calling on Member States to revise their July agreement and ensure the new EU budget delivers for our businesses at this challenging time”, said MEP Kelly, leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament.