Today Poland announced that it will contribute €8 billion to projects benefiting from finance by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is at the heart of the €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe. The contribution will come via its National Promotional Bank Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego ("BGK"). Poland is the sixth country to contribute to the Plan even before the EFSI has been formally set up, following the lead of Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Luxembourg.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "I am very glad to receive the great news from Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek in person that Poland will contribute to the Investment Plan, the sixth country to do so. Poland's BGK already has a vast engagement in cross-EU investment platforms. I am very happy about this very timely announcement."
On 10 March, EU finance ministers agreed a common position on the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Following a vote on the Regulation by the responsible Committees in the European Parliament on 20 April, negotiations between the co-legislators can now enter the final phase, with a view to finding an agreement on the legal text in June. Already by the summer, SMEs and some infrastructure projects will be able to benefit from pre-financing from the EIB, as was announced on 17 February. The objective is that the new Fund will be fully operational by September at the latest.
National Promotional Banks have a crucial role to play in getting Europe investing again. They have the expertise to carry out the Investment Plan, and they often ensure the most efficient use of public resources. Poland is now the sixth country to announce a contribution through its National Promotional Bank: Germany announced in February that it would contribute €8 billion to the Investment Plan through KfW. Also in February, Spain announced a €1.5 billion contribution through Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO). In March, France announced a €8 billion pledge through Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and Bpifrance (BPI) and Italy announced it will contribute €8 billion via Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). In April Luxembourg announced that it will contribute €80 million via Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI).
The economic crisis brought about a sharp reduction of investment across Europe. That is why collective and coordinated efforts at European level are needed to reverse this downward trend and put Europe on the path of economic recovery. Adequate levels of resources are available and need to be mobilised across the EU in support of investment. There is no single, simple answer, no growth button that can be pushed, and no one-size-fits-all solution. The Commission is setting out an approach based on three pillars: structural reforms to put Europe on a new growth path; fiscal responsibility to restore the soundness of public finances and cement financial stability; and investment to kick-start growth and sustain it over time. The Investment Plan for Europe is at the heart of this strategy.