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EU Investment Offensive: Commission Vice-President Katainen takes investment roadshow to Germany

Next stop Germany: The roadshow to promote the Investment Plan for Europe takes European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, to Berlin and Frankfurt. On Thursday, 29 January, the Vice-President will meet German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, German parliamentarians, business leaders and academics in Berlin. He will also visit a medical technology company in nearby Teltow together with Dietmar Woidke, Prime Minister of Brandenburg. On Friday, 30 January, the Vice-President will go on to Frankfurt to meet representatives of the finance- and insurance industries as well as students and media.

The Investment Plan aims to mobilise public and private investments of at least € 315 billion over the next three years (2015-2017). During the roadshow Vice-President Katainen will explain why the EU needs a new Investment Plan, where the money comes from and which investment will be supported. He will also outline how Germany can benefit from the Plan and how private investors can participate in the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: “My trip comes just after news that Germany will contribute € 8 billion to the Investment Plan for Europe through its national development bank. I am very encouraged by this contribution. In Berlin and Frankfurt, I aim to build on that support and to illustrate that Germany can benefit hugely from fresh public and private investment. Against the backdrop of an ageing population, this is the way for Germany to ensure job creation, as well as sustainable and fair growth.”

The medical technology company Getemed in Teltow, which the Vice-President will visit, is a prime example of how EU financial support can help to promote jobs and innovation in telemedicine. Mr Katainen will visit the company together with Dietmar Woidke, Prime Minister of Brandenburg and Tillmann Stenger, Chairman of the Investment Bank of Brandenburg. Getemed received €2 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) between 2009 and 2011. An innovative device developed by Getemed allows doctors to remotely monitor the heart activity of their patients. Therefore, people in the province of Brandenburg need to travel less for medical purposes.

Background:

Since the beginning of the last decade, the rate of investment in Germany has been significantly lower than in the rest of the euro area, although the gap has narrowed in recent years. The main challenge for Germany is to bring forward measures that help strengthen domestic demand and the economy’s growth potential. The capacity for the German economy to grow in the future, provide jobs and ensure rising living standards in an era of an ageing population and global competition depends crucially on bolstering domestic sources of future growth. This can be done via both private and public investment. The existing room for manoeuvre in public finances together with the low interest rate environment present a window of opportunity for public investment projects.

Vice-President’s visit to Germany will be followed by visits to Croatia 23/2 and the Czech Republic 23/24 February, Spain 26/27 February and to France in March. 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 Investment Plan.

In each country the roadshow programme will be tailored to address the specific investment needs of specific Member States. As well as national, regional and local authorities, the Vice President will discuss the Investment Plan with representatives from the business community, trade unions, academics and students as well as potential investors. He will also visit projects benefitting from EU financing and discuss opportunities offered by the Plan.

The Roadshow will cover the three angles of the Investment Plan for Europe:

(1) Mobilising Investment Finance. The aim is to provide potential investors (public and private), as well as those seeking to benefit from funding in the future, with practical information on how the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) will work and how to get involved.

With strong political support from Member States and the European Parliament, the new European Fund for Strategic Investments could be established in June 2015, with financing available for projects in autumn 2015. Funding could be available even earlier for SMEs as the existing European Investment Fund gets reinforced.

(2) The new Project Pipeline. A pipeline of trustworthy, viable projects will be created under the Investment Plan – screened by independent experts – which are attractive to investors. The roadshow will provide information on how interested parties, including Member States, regions or project promoters can submit projects for screening, as well as the service which will be provided by a new technical assistance hub, to ensure that projects are well structured and comply with regulatory requirements;

(3) The Regulatory reforms. The roadshow will gather political support for regulatory reforms, at EU and national level which are critical to removing barriers to investment, opening new investment opportunities (in sectors such as digital, energy and capital markets) and changing permanently the investment environment in Europe.

More information about the Investment Plan for Europe:

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