The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is an initiative launched jointly by the EIB Group - European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF) - and the European Commission to help overcome the current investment gap in the EU. Its key objective is to mobilise private financing for strategic investments.
The EFSI is expected to mobilise € 315 bn of investment over a three-year period in key growth-enhancing areas experiencing investment gaps by providing € 21 bn of financial guarantees. It particularly targets higher risk financing for large-scale strategic investments in infrastructure, education and innovation (through its ‘Innovation and Infrastructure Window’), as well as finance for SMEs (through its ‘SME Window’).
The EFSI is the key tool for implementing the European Commission’s ‘Investment Plan for Europe’ launched in 2014 to mobilise and support investment in the real economy. The ‘Investment Plan’ further includes the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and the European Investment Projects Portal (EIPP).
The EFSI can be used to achieve Rural Development objectives by supporting investments in:
- Reduction of food waste;
- Recycling of phosphorus;
- Marketable smart technical solutions, also accessible for smaller farms;
- New business models for data management;
High-speed broadband and smart villages
- Bundling of small-scale irrigation investments;
- Water savings and efficiency projects;
Access to finance
- Development of financial products for agricultural holdings;
- Complement existing support instruments.
The EFSI can be strategically combined with the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to boost competitiveness, growth and jobs in the agri-business sector and rural areas.
Who can apply for support under the EFSI?
The various entities who are eligible to apply for support under the EFSI include utilities; SMEs and mid-cap companies; as well as public sector bodies. National Promotional Banks and other financial institutions can serve as financial intermediaries delivering EFSI funding to actors on the ground.
Additionally, EAFRD Managing Authorities can set up or allocate resources to a Financial Instrument supported under the EFSI.
Actors interested in applying for EFSI support can contact the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) for assistance.