Among those that make or cover policy in Brussels, jargon and acronyms can take over conversations. These usually sound like a foreign language to the rest of us in Europe. So #RealEconomy asked Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competition to explain what was the difference between the much-publicised European Fund For Strategic Investments or EFSI and it’s new pet project, #InvestEU. The main difference he explained was that one was demand driven and open to all kinds of business. The other focused on key EU policy areas, such as sustainable infrastructure, SMEs, R&D and social infrastructure.
Maithreyi Seetharaman: Explain to me the difference, for the regular viewer between Invest EU, EFSI and the role everybody plays in that?
Jyrki Katainen: EFSI has been and continues to be purely demand driven. So, basically, all kinds of projects can apply for EFSI financing whereas, Invest EU is more policy driven - so we want to make sure that Invest EU promotes investment in sustainable infrastructure, SMEs, R&D and social infrastructure. So this is the main difference. The second thing is that EFSI has provided guarantees only to the European investment bank, which is then done the financing decisions. But in Invest EU funds - the EIB maintains or it will stay as a key implementing partner but we will open the EU guarantees to other national promotional banks and international financial institutions like EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), so there will be more opportunities for the regional and national promotional banks to use directly, Invest EU guarantees.