Following M. Pellegrini’s introduction to the Juncker Investment Plan for Europe at IMA-Europe’s general assembly in May 2015 (see article here), the IMA-Europe staff attended the EC Raw Materials unit’s workshop on “Raw Materials in the Junker Plan”, involving representatives from DG Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) and from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The workshop provided detailed information on how the EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments) will operate, focusing on five areas of key importance including:
- Expansion of renewable energy and resource efficiency
- Education and training, research, development and innovation
Companies of all sizes, and other public and private entities are eligible for funding through different EIB instruments. A European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) will be set up to provide better coordinated guidance on the preparation of projects and on how these can best gain access to finance. Although the legislative process for the adoption of the EU Regulation establishing EFSI is still running, the EIB plans to use existing capital to start pre-financing operations as soon as possible. This plan has three practical implications for the industrial minerals industry:
- The EIB comes up as a potential financial source in addition to other banks
- The EIB provides mechanisms to facilitate access to capital for risky projects or risky phases of projects
- The investment dimension is high on the political agenda of the Commission
A detailed leaflet on EFSI is available from the EIB’s website.