(03 September 2015) – EU officials are making noise about the Juncker Plan, which some say might give cash loans more favourably to large infrastructure projects and leave behind small, local proposals.
The European Commission’s investment scheme will be worth a target total of €315 billion set to go primarily into energy, transport and digital infrastructure projects around Europe.
But some officials say the European Investment Bank has too strong a say and won’t pick projects that benefit local communities. “We have enough money but the Juncker Plan doesn’t change the political will towards smaller projects. There’s more political will for the big projects,” said German MEP Michael Cramer (Greens).
The Commission is setting up an investment committee to rule on the loan applications. The EIB has been processing proposals since earlier this summer.
Projects approved for Juncker Plan funding so far include €50 million in loans to French private equity firm Omnes Capital, to start a renewable energy fund and to Spanish company Abengoa for biotechnology and energy research. EU and regional officials have questioned the vetting process for the loans. (EurActiv)