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11/12/2016

Commission expects content of €300bn investment package revealed by next Council summit

Social Europe & Jobs

Commission expects content of €300bn investment package revealed by next Council summit

Frans Timmermans at his Parliament hearing. [European Parliament]

The European Commission aims to present its announced  €300 billion investment package by the December Council Summit, the EU executive’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said on Wednesday (12 November).

Timmermans, who spoke at a press conference, said that as a “novelty”, the Commission will engage with member states and the Council where there is an increased interest in the EU working programme.

The content of the investment package, which is seen as the Commission’s main tool to act on its promises on increasing growth and lower unemployment rate, will be put forward as a proposal by Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici after consultation with member states. 

“It’s clear that the Commission wants to be ready with it for the European Council in December (18-19 December) so we will work towards that deadline. This matter is of high-alert,” the Commission President’s Deputy said. 

“This package will clearly show that this Commission will do everything it can to coordinate with member states and the European institutions to make sure that the European agenda is focused on growth and jobs for the next five years,” Timmermans continued.

During the last Council summit in Brussels (24 October), EU leaders asked the Commission to come up with a plan for a better coordinating economic policies.

“We want proposals to be submitted so that we can better coordinate policies in the eurozone,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We still have fairly big economic challenges such as unemployment. We also need to work for a better inflation rate,” said Merkel.

With a troubled European economy, and Germany’s reluctance to invest more in the eurozone, EU leaders agreed to work on a better governance structure, in order to coordinate actions that would boost growth in the 28 country bloc.

The €300 billion investment package was one of the first proposals added to the Juncker Commission’s working programme. The Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen has said that the growth package should include public and private partnerships, increased lending capacity for the European Investment Bank and other EU lending bodies, more “future investment” by EU nations in areas such as infrastructure and the completion of the single market.

“I don’t want 300 billion on a table, but I want 300 billion of real investment to support jobs and growth over the next three years,” Katainen said. 

Background

The new president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has announced a plan to mobilise €300 billion in an effort to kick-start the European economy. The details of the plan will be given in November, once the new European Commission has taken office. This money will be used primarily to bolster the capital of the European investment bank.

Timeline

  • 18-19 Dec.: Deadline for launch of investment package.

Further Reading