European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, travels to Hungary on Friday as part of his roadshow to promote the Investment Plan for Europe.

Together with European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Vice-President Katainen will meet Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the National Assembly's Committees on European Affairs, Economic Affairs and Budget. He will host a discussion with SMEs, investors, NGOs, and research institutes at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as a discussion on the Future of Europe with university students. The Vice-President will also visit Demola, a part-EU funded open innovation platform which runs projects and organises educational courses in the field of IT, engineering, design, marketing and business.

Vice-President Katainen said: "I am very pleased to be in Budapest today to promote the Investment Plan for Europe to our partners in Hungary. I am looking forward to having constructive meetings with government, parliament and businesses. I am also very happy to visit another Demola site, after the very interesting tour I took in Helsinki's Demola. This innovative hub is a source of inspiration, and just the type of project our Investment Plan is aimed at supporting."

Commissioner Navracsics said: "The Investment Plan for Europe can give a boost to schools, universities and innovative enterprises across the EU and of course in Hungary. We want to encourage those with fresh ideas to come forward with projects that can benefit from the new investment the Plan will generate."

Background

Hungary is currently enjoying a strong economic recovery. With 3.6% real GDP growth in 2014, the growth rate is amongst the highest in Europe. Investment activity increased in Hungary in 2013 and peaked in 2014 with a net yearly investment growth of 11.7%. It is likely to decelerate in the next years due to lower public and foreign direct investments. In this context, investment in R&D and innovation would help Hungary to maintain the impetus of its economic recovery and sustain job creation and GDP growth.

The Investment Plan for Europe will mobilise public and private investments of at least €315 billion over the next three years (2015-2017). Each Roadshow visit promotes the three elements of the Investment Plan for Europe:

(1) Mobilising Investment Finance. The Commission adopted the legislative proposal for the EFSI on 13 January. With strong political will from all EU institutions, the aim is to adopt the draft EFSI regulation by summer 2015 so that the EFSI can be established no later than September 2015 and funds can start flowing by the autumn.

(2) The new Project Pipeline. A portal on European Investment opportunities will be created to provide transparency to investors. A new technical assistance hub will help to ensure that projects are well-structured and comply with regulatory requirements.

(3) Regulatory reforms. The Commission is working to remove regulatory barriers to investment and strengthen the Single Market as set out in the Commission's 2015 Work Programme. As a first important step in the context of removing barriers and increasing access to finance, notably for SMEs, the Commission adopted on 18 February a Green Paper on the Capital Markets Union launching a public consultation of all stakeholders.

Next stops on the roadshow:

Poland 20-21 April

Greece 23-24 April

Luxembourg 27 April

The aim is to cover all 28 EU countries by October 2015. The Vice-President will also make visits to non-EU countries to promote the EU Investment Plan later in the year.

More information about the Investment Plan for Europe:

Investment Plan for Europe website

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