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L.Delcart attended the conference about the new Investment Plan of Europe organised by the Committee of the Regions on Wednesday 15-4-2015. The conference was aimed at the regions and cities of Europe in order to prepare them for introducing their projects in that ambitious investment plan trying to put Europe back on track.  Important is to know is that one of the 3 pillars of the program is boosting SME business. But on the other hand, the way of structuring the program in loans and loan guarantees of min. 100 mio €, will also force SMEs to collaborate. Or to work via financial intermediaries.

The two other pillars will be Innovation and education and infrastructure. Although it has been recognized that the regions have a serious impact on investments and that ½ of the public investments is done by regional organisations, the present procedure for receiving loans and loan guarantees starts from packages of minimum 100 mio EUR. It will be therefore paramount that regions group their initiatives and introduce demands for larger projects. An example that was always quoted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) was a project for water purification introduced by Veneto region, regrouping 22 municipalities joining their forces in the same initiative.

Each project is to be evaluated anticipatively on all its aspects: technical, economic viability, environmental, social and governance. A combination of financial instruments will often be necessary in order to close the budget, especially when it comes to investment project with a social aim: funding instruments, commercial finance, EIB/NPB finance, joint EIB/NPB and national/regional budget instruments, budget grants. Public-private partnerships are fostered in this context. The European Investment Bank will install a European Investment Advisory Hub in order to help national and regional authorities to introduce their projects in the right way.

The present video of Wilhelm Molterer of the EIB resumes well the situation.