BRUSSELS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Three evaluations supported reinforcing the Investment Plan for Europe, or the so-called Juncker Plan, the European Commission said in a statement on Tuesday.
The investment plan, aiming to bring investments back in line with historical trends, was initiated by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker two years ago. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of flagship plan, was launched in June 2015 and scheduled to end in 2018.
During the first year of operation, has approved 12.8 billion euros (14.31 billion U.S. dollars) worth of projects. The Commission estimated that this financing would trigger more than100 billion euros of investment, 80 percent of which would be from private capital.
Given the concrete results achieved, Juncker presented a proposal in his State of the Union address on Sept. 14 to reinforce the EFSI to boost investment further.
The Commission proposed to double the duration and capacity of the EFSI by extending, in a first step, its duration until the end of 2020 and increasing the total investment target from 315 billion euros to at least half a trillion euros.
Three evaluations were published following the proposal: by the European Commission on Sept. 14, the European Investment Bank on Oct. 5, and global accounting firm Ernst &Young (EY) on Nov.14.
The evaluations found that the EFSI has increased access to financing as well as mobilized private capital, and identified areas in which the Investment Plan could be enhanced, the statement said.
All three evaluations pointed to a high potential in developing new forms of cooperation between the EFSI and other sources of EU funding. They also underlined the need to carefully monitor possible competition between some of those funds with the EFSI.
"The Investment Plan is our flagship policy. It has already shown it works to improve Europe's investment environment. We have listened and learnt from the early experiences. The feedback we have received is in line with our proposal to fine-tune, expand and strengthen the Plan," Juncker said in the statement.
"The Investment Plan is bringing concrete results and is reaching people and companies across Europe. Companies can expand their activities, hire new employees and invest more in research and development," said Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.
"We urge member states and the European Parliament to adopt our EFSI 2.0 proposal without delay to help us support sustainable investment in order to put Europeans back in jobs and to boost EU growth," Katainen added.
The findings of the evaluations have been summarized into a document and will feed into the legislative debate on the proposal with the European Parliament and EU member states.
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