European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, is in Greece on Thursday and Friday as part of his roadshow to promote the Investment Plan for Europe.
Vice-President Katainen will meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as well as Minister of Economy, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Aegean Tourism Georgios Stathakis. He will then hold a citizens' dialogue. During his trip, he will also meet with representatives from financial services and with parliamentarians. Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, responsible for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, accompanies the Vice-President for part of the roadshow.
Vice-President Katainen said: "I'm very much looking forward to this Investment Plan roadshow in Greece. I have had good discussions with Greek industry, whose representatives are strongly in favour of the Investment Plan. The new European Fund (EFSI) could finance private or public-private sector projects in Greece. It has been constructed in such a way that it can take more risks. But this also means that the Greek authorities must make sure that confidence around the country will increase. The country must show the determination to make growth-friendly reforms prone to investment."
Since May 2010, Greece has been faced with a sharp deterioration of its financing conditions, which have led euro area Member States and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide financial support in the form of a Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (MFAFA). As part of this programme, remarkable efforts have been undertaken over the past years. This programme was extended until the end of June. The Greek authorities and the institutions are currently working towards its conclusion. This includes the design of a broad set of commitments and reforms aimed at durably improving growth and employment prospects, ensuring fiscal sustainability, strengthening financial stability and the resilience of the financial sector as well as enhancing social fairness. The Investment Plan for Europe can be one factor contributing to the return of confidence in the Greek economy as well as in creating sustainable jobs and 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:
Luxembourg 27 April
Denmark 7 May
Sweden 8 May
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: