The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker announced today (Wednesday) in his “State of the [European] Union address” that he wanted to increase the European Fund for Strategic Investments. Initially, the Fund had been allocated 310 billion euros through to 2018, but Juncker now wishes to bring this up to a total of 500 billion euros by 2020 and 630 billion by 2022.
He called for a “willingness to overcome differences and divisions” to ensure future generations of Europeans a Europe which maintains their lifestyle, and both defends and protects them.
Juncker’s second “State of the [European] Union address” was the occasion to acknowledge that Europe is still not in peak condition, with high unemployment.
He observed, “We can definitely say that Europe is not ‘social enough’ and we must remedy this state of affairs.”
The Commission President stressed that public debt remains as high as it ever has.
He commented, “We must apply the Stability and Growth Pact flexibly, so that it is not an obstacle to growth.”
To assist in jump-starting growth, Juncker also wishes to increase the lifetime of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, often called the “Juncker Fund”, and double its financial capacity.
The Commission President’s proposals are to extend the Fund until 2022, by which time the amount made available for expenditure will have been increased to a total of 630 billion euros.