The European Commission today proposed to set up a new European External Investment Plan (EIP) to encourage investment in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood, strengthen partnerships and contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Announcing the initiative, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, said: "If we look at the Middle East and Africa, we see regions with a huge potential that is being held back by war, poverty, the lack of infrastructure, and weak governance. Our European Union is already the first donor worldwide: we invest more in development cooperation than the rest of the world combined. But we also know that public resources cannot be sufficient if we want to untap this huge potential and achieve the sustainable development goals.
“European firms are already creating jobs and growth in our entire neighbourhood and in Africa, for the benefit of our partners and of the European citizens. While creating the conditions for Europeans to expand their business and move into new countries, the new External Investment Plan will support our partners' economies and societies, as well as our strategic foreign policy goals, from security to global development."
The EIP will boost investments in Africa and EU Neighbourhood countries, in particular to support social and economic infrastructure and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, by addressing obstacles to private investment. With an input of EUR 3.35 billion from the EU budget and the European Development Fund, the EIP will support innovative guarantees and similar instruments in support of private investment, enabling the EIP to mobilise up to EUR 44 billion of investments. If Member States and other partners match the EU's contribution, the total amount could reach EUR 88 billion.
This will contribute to implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Agenda on Financing for Development. It will also provide a key contribution to addressing the root causes of migration, reinforcing EU partnerships and looking at the long term drivers behind the large movements of population.
The European Investment Bank (EIB)'s lending operations also form an integral part of the EIP. The Commission will expand the EU budget guarantee under the EIB External Lending Mandate by a total of EUR 5.3 billion. In total, the EIB will thus lend up to EUR 32.3 billion under the EU guarantee between 2014 and 2020.
The EIP offers an integrated framework enabling full cooperation among the EU, Member States, partner countries, international financial institutions, donors and the private sector. It will improve the way in which scarce public funds are used and the way public authorities and private investors work together on investment projects.
Through the EIP the EU will make a further contribution to the global architecture for development and management of migration, the two themes that will be at the centre of the discussion during the upcoming UN General Assembly.