AER met Friday 22 April with European Commission Vice President, Mr Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. Lukas Mandl, member of the parliament of Niederösterreich (AT) and Mathieu Mori, AER Secretary General, discussed with Mr Katainen about the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and its uptake at regional level. The first results of this initiatives are encouraging but many more projects should be flowing towards the European Investment Bank which still has a huge potential of investment in various sectors.
AER has taken the opportunity of this meeting to raise the issue of European accounting rules which require regions to charge the cost of investments to the budget and the account for the year in which the investment is carried out. At a time when regions are doing their best to balance their budgets, the accounting rules prevent many of them to take advantage of EFSI. The European Commission is looking for solutions that will enable regions to take full advantage of the EFSI possibilities without threatening their budget balance. The Commissioner has promised that a communication on this very matter will clarify the situation within two months. AER will of course monitor this issue.
AER is also preparing an intervention by the European Commission for the AER members in order to provide all the necessary information on how to take advantage of EFSI in your region.
In the meantime we encourage regions to visit the following websites :
- For general information about the European Fund for Strategic Investments : http://www.eib.org/efsi/index.htm
- To get information from the European Investment Advisory Hub : http://www.eib.org/eiah/index.htm
- To apply for a loan : http://www.eib.org/projects/cycle/applying_loan/index.htm