Reactions to the Juncker plan
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Commission has launched a new instrument to increase the amount of funding available for investments in Europe. The Instrument is known as the Juncker plan after the new Commission Chair Claude Juncker or the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).
The main objective of the fund is to increase the available investment capital available in Europe by creating a fund where public funding will collaborate with private funding and thus multiply the effect on capital available for European project.
In addition, EFSI will also support strategic structural project across Europe.
The funds has been subject to intense discussion and has / is facing considerable opposition from the Academic sector as considerable resources are re-directed from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding scheme to the investment fund. In particular areas such as the Excellence Science Pillar are expected to contribute with considerable amounts of funding.
In addition, the support to be provided by the fund for companies, in particular European SME, are to be provided as investment loans, in contrast to Horizon 2020 which provides subsidies.
There are as always advantages and disadvantages with a fund of this kind and the way the funding is re-directed. It is true as stated by the Academic sector, that the funding already agreed for Horizon 2020 will reduce the innovation component in Horizon 2020. However, many European SME are not able to benefit from Horizon 2020 as their activities are outside the Horizon 2020 goals. These companies will of course benefit from the EFSI funding and the invested funds will thus benefit the European public through the creation of new employment opportunities and growth.
The discussion is currently ongoing and arguments from both sides are going back and forth. According to the Commission timetable the fund should be operational starting from the summer 2015.
We here at Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting will keep studying the developments around EFSI. If you would like to get in touch with us and discuss our services in EU proposal writing please contact us either using the online contact form or by email to: