• to highlight and explore the investment gap, in particular from the perspective of cities and regions
  • to assess the implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe, European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and related initiatives (EIAH, EIPP), including issues of geographical balance, additionality and governance

Narrowing the 15% gap in European investments and kick-starting the EU economy has been a top priority for the European Committee of the Regions in the past few years and the opinion stresses the role of local and regional authorities in tackling the challenges, as LRAs are responsible for more than half of the public investment.

The opinion stresses a few support measures from the cities’ and regions’ perspective in order for the process to succeed: stimulating targeted investment based on local needs, to continue the EU’s work on cutting excessive red tape, and by facilitating peer-to-peer benchlearning for best grass roots practices. Investment also needs to be regarded in a wider context – not only focusing on infrastructure and transport – but also in human capital, research and innovation, as well as smart energy networks; ensuring sustainable and human development across Europe.

I recognise the crucial role that local authorities can help play in bringing investment projects to fruition. Our proposal for extending and reinforcing the Investment Plan for Europe (the so-called "EFSI 2.0") proposal places a stronger emphasis on leveraging local knowledge to facilitate EFSI support across the EU. The European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) will be in a position to provide more targeted technical assistance services at local level, including to local and regional authorities, across the EU.

Jyrki Katainen
European Commission Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness

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