With the discussions on the Multi-annual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 (MFF) and the continued roll-out of the Investment Plan for Europe, the European institutions are, finally, recognizing that investing in social infrastructures can pay off.
As CEEP has been claiming for the past few years, the return to economic growth can only go hand-in-hand with a renewed focus on the social dimension. Recent developments have proved that claim right, with the proposals for an EU Pillar of Social Rights, an increased focus on social investment in the EFSI 2.0 and the proposal for a specific Social Window in the upcoming InvestEU package, to be agreed in the context of the MFF.
Supporting the case for such a move towards social investment, on 25 September 2018, an important step for social investment was concluded by the EU institutions: the European Investment Bank (EIB) committed to provide ILUNION, one of the enterprises from the ONCE Group, member of CEEP Spain, with EUR 35 million in financing to create 200 jobs for people with disabilities and to invest in improving energy efficiency. As the first such loan made by the EIB to a social economy enterprise in Spain, and with the backing of the Investment Plan for Europe, this commitment is paving the way for more and better social investment in Europe, especially in line with the current negotiations on the MFF.
The European Parliament, via the intergroups on Public Services and on Long-Term Investment, is also gearing up its work to better channel investment to social infrastructures. As such, the intergroups came together, thanks to the active support of CEEP and the European Long-Term Investors association, on Wednesday 26 September to discuss this social window of the InvestEU Fund. Gathering experts from the European Commission, economist, representative of promotion and development banks and leaders of organisations of providers of (social) services, the event provided an interesting opportunity to exchange views and better explain the expectations of every actor, aiming at better reaching the ground level and positively impact citizens’ lives.
With concrete proposals, active gestures and consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, we feel that the social investment, and the investment in social infrastructures, is a key issue for the future of Europe. Building up on the achievements of past investment tools (such as the European Fund for Strategic Investment) and the expertise gathered, the EU institutions now have a real possibility to re-connect citizens with the EU and its institutions. Together with our partners and members of the social services, CEEP is ensuring that the voice and priorities of providers and employers of those services are well heard and understood.
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