The European fund for strategic investments (EFSI) regulation was approved by the European Parliament and by the Council of the EU in June. Few days later, the Committee of the Regions organised a lunch briefing with experts from the Commission and the EIB to better analyse the way how it could be implemented at regional level.

During this briefing, several aspects were clarified and underlined:

– Member States can contribute to EFSI through guarantees or cash. Third parties can co-finance projects on project-by-project basis or through investment platforms.
– All projects will be approved by EIB governing bodies. The Commission will only do a very short screening to see if there is any breach of EU legislation.
– Estimated time for assessing projects is unclear: “the better the quality of the proposal, the higher the speed”
– Strings attached to ESI funds do not allow for contributions to EFSI, only on project to project basis or through Investment Platforms.
– There will be financing for all size of projects. EUR 25 m is the average size, but the EIB can meet the needs for other sizes of investment.

The EFSI will be operational in September 2015 and the Commission is organising a workshop in October 2015 with a more technical focus.