The European Parliament and European Union nations agreed to put more money into an investment fund and to extend its longevity.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) will continue to 2020, longer than the original 2015-2018 timeframe. The original €315 billion of targeted investment has been increased to €500 billion, the European Commission said in a statement.
The EFSI backs the Investment Plan for Europe -- the so-called Juncker Plan, after Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker -- which aims to spur investments in Europe that fell to a low level in the wake of the global and economic crisis that began about 10 years ago.
"The EFSI has already reached all 28 member states, supporting key public and private investment projects and financing a huge range of small businesses and start-ups," Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said in the statement. "With its increased firepower and duration, the EFSI will continue to be an important driving force in the EU's economic recovery."
The scope of the projects backed will be extended to areas such as sustainable agriculture and fisheries to help meet the Paris Agreement on climate change and take Europe towards a lower-carbon economy, the Commission said.
The draft EFSI 2.0 regulation still needs to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.
(Alistair Holloway, firstname.lastname@example.org, +352 49 93 739)