The European Parliament adopted today a critical resolution on the implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe (so-called “Juncker Plan”) and its flagship initiative – the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Counter Balance welcomes the report adopted, although it paid little attention to the harmful environmental and climate impacts of projects supported – especially in the fossil fuels sector.

See here the report adopted in the Plenary session of the European Parliament.

Among the problematic issues highlighted in the report feature the following:

- Geographic concentration of EFSI investments in already more dynamic economies and too limited focus on countries and regions most in need;

- The Parliament “is concerned about documented conflicts of interest on the part of Investment Committee members, which must in all circumstances be avoided in the future”;

- Unclear additionality of EFSI investments;

- MEPs “call for the decision-making process to be made more transparent” and to publish the assessments of all EFSI projects made via the Scoreboard of indicators;

- The support to projects structured via tax havens is also denounced.

These findings especially echo the analysis we developed together with other NGOs in our Best Laid Plans report and in our report “What’s new in the Investment Plan for Europe: business as usual or genuine innovation?“.

Nevertheless, the Parliament largely ignored the dark side of EFSI, namely its support to fossil fuel projects (in the gas sector especially) and high carbon transport projects (motorways in particular). Indeed, the report only vaguely mentions the need to „take into account“ the Paris Agreement and misses the chance to call for higher climate targets for the EFSI operations as well as for a halt to fossil fuels investments by the European Investment Bank.

Now that the extension of the Investment Plan for Europe until 2020 is entering its final negotiations stage, it is high time for the EU institutions to ensure that those issues are concretely addressed in the future “EFSI 2.0”.