Gibran Watfe, 7 January 2016
More than five years after the onset of the euro area sovereign debt crisis, the EU still struggles to recover in terms of growth and employment. The most important project by the European Commission under president Jean-Claude Juncker that is supposed to boost growth is the Investment Plan for Europe. The core of the plan is the creation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that is meant to mobilize private investments for viable projects across the EU, based on a guarantee backed by the EU budget. For this purpose, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is supposed to invest funds of an amount that is three times the size of the guarantee fund, generating private investments of 15 times the amount of the fund. The idea behind this setup is that the guarantee fund takes on some of the risk of a project so that private investors are attracted, as they have to bear less risk.