The European Investment Bank (EIB) is currently preparing for the second round of its investment programme, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (known as EFSI 2.0). Building upon progress made in its first round, EFSI 2.0 introduces a number of operational improvements to ease investments into European infrastructure programmes.
Speaking to Partnerships Bulletin, Mar Beltran, S&P Global Ratings’ senior director and infrastructure sector lead, EMEA, believes that, while the programme is largely a positive step, EFSI 2.0 relies on a sufficient pipeline of European public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
“It has taken time for the EFSI to ramp up investments in infrastructure,” says Beltran. “This was perhaps due, initially, to a lack of definition around the objectives and the scope of investments that would be supported by the fund.”
Remarking on the importance of easing infrastructure investment in the region, Beltran adds that EFSI 2.0 – in isolation – may not be the cure-all for Europe’s infrastructure conundrum. “Infrastructure investment in Europe is still behind targets. There are several reasons for this, and they are, in fact, unrelated to EFSI. For example: rules concerning how EU states can treat PPPs on their balance sheet have acted as a disincentive for highly indebted governments to go down this route.”
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