JASPERS, the technical assistance partnership between the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which supports the preparation of large infrastructure projects to be submitted for EU funding, continued to expand its activities on behalf of the twelve beneficiary Member States in 2009.
In 2009 JASPERS completed 133 assignments, compared to 82 the previous year. As at 31 December 2009, JASPERS had a portfolio of 426 assignments. Major projects accounted for some 86% of these assignments, the remainder being mainly support for small projects and horizontal assignments to tackle bottlenecks or issues affecting multiple projects or sub-sectors.As part of the measures to stimulate recovery from recession in many Member States, in November 2008 the European Commission announced a 25% increase in its budgetary contribution to JASPERS over the period 2009-2013 compared to 2008. The EIB agreed to match this with a 25% increase in its professional staff contribution to JASPERS. Reflecting these commitments, JASPERS staffing increased from 60 to 77 during the course of 2009.
Up to end-2009, the European Commission received 144 major project applications, of which 99 for projects directly supported by JASPERS. Of the 54 applications approved during the year, 44 received JASPERS assistance. By end-2009, the JASPERS-supported projects approved by the Commission had a total investment volume of EUR 7.4 billion, of which some EUR 4.3 billion is EU grant funding. These projects are concentrated in the main sectors supported by JASPERS: roads, ports, airports and railways, solid waste and energy, and urban infrastructure.