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Programme countries

In the specific cases of Ireland, Greece and Portugal, they have received bilateral loans from euro area countries and from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addition to the loans from the EFSF and the EFSM, to meet the costs of repaying their existing debts given the excessive costs of raising money on international bond markets. In exchange, these countries agreed economic reforms to restore financial markets' confidence in their ability to repay their debts and restore their future competitiveness.

The European Commission has worked in conjunction with the European Central Bank and the IMF (as a so-called 'Troika') to review implementation of agreed macroeconomic reforms byIreland, Greece and Portugal.

In the specific case of Greece, the Commission has established a Task Force to provide technical advice on the implementation of economic reforms and to maximise the use and impact of money from EU Structural Funds.

Project bonds

In October 2011, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal launching the pilot phase of the Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative. The pilot phase of the project is foreseen for 2012-13.
This innovative instrument should help to facilitate the financing of infrastructure projects through spreading risk and will help the EU to achieve its Europe 2020 targets.
In particular, the project bonds aim to:

  • establish debt capital markets as an additional source of financing for infrastructure projects
  • stimulate investment in key strategic EU infrastructure in transport, energy and broadband.

One project that will benefit from Project Bonds is the "Connecting Europe Facility", a project providing a €50 billion boost to European infrastructure networks. The project will create jobs, boost competitiveness and fill in the 'missing links' in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone.

The pilot phase of the Project Bond programme will begin once the European Parliament and Council have amended existing two existing decisions in the areas of transport and competitiveness, as well as redeploying budgetary resources for this purpose. The adoption of the proposal itself is foreseen for Summer 2012.