The European Council that took place in Brussels on 12 December endorsed the European Action for Growth and welcomed the work carried out by the EIB and the Commission in the implementation of the Union's Lisbon agenda to improve competitiveness, employment and the enlarged Union's growth potential.
European Action for Growth
The growth initiative covers material as well as immaterial investments in two broad areas:
- The trans-European network infrastructure (TENs) including transport, telecommunications and energy;
- Innovation and R&D including environmental technology.
The Action for Growth rests on close collaboration between the Member States, the Council, the Commission and the EIB. Cornerstones of this initiative are:
- The mobilisation of private resources to finance qualifying projects;
- The part-financing of projects from national budgets, in particular by optimising the use of existing public resources, a contribution from the EU and the EIB;
- Enhanced coordination between all relevant sources of financing.
The European Council invited the EIB to implement the financial instruments aiming at leveraging private capital, and to develop Securitisation Trusts, within the limits of the Bank's Statutes and subject to Eurostat rules work with the Member States as they seek to mobilize resources by bringing infrastructure assets to markets. The Commission and the EIB will provide a mid-term evaluation of the Action for Growth by the end of 2007, on the basis of (i) effects on growth; (ii) impact on the internal market and cohesion in the enlarged EU; (iii) mobilisation of private sector capital, (iv) acceleration of the implementation of TENs and innovation and R&D projects including environment projects; (v) progress in reducing regulatory barriers; (vi) the impact on the environment and employment.
Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP)
The European Council welcomed the ECOFIN Council decision to develop further the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) by reinforcing the FEMIP within the European Investment Bank. The European Council invited the ECOFIN Council to assess the incorporation of an EIB majority-owned subsidiary dedicated to the Mediterranean partner countries in December 2006, on the basis of an evaluation of the reinforced Facility's performance, and taking into account the outcome of consultations with the Barcelona Process partners.