European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

The announcement of the extension and reinforcement of the Investment Plan for Europe has been welcomed by FIEC (the European Construction Industry Federation).

FIEC President Jean-Louis Marchand said, “This is very good news.” He was speaking after the announcement by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the extension and doubling of the Investment Plan for Europe in his speech on the State of the Union this week.

Marchand said, “As Vice President Katainen stressed in his speech when addressing FIEC members at our latest Congress in June, the construction sector can play a key role in addressing the long-term societal challenges that Europe faces.

“But for construction enterprises to play our role in the economy, we need a stable investment strategy, as no investment means no growth, no jobs and no future.”

He said that this was the reason that prolonging and reinforcing the current Investment Plan was welcomed by FIEC.

“This investment plan goes in the right direction and FIEC is contributing to promoting it amongst its members,” he said.

Marchand added a warning, however. He said, “The rationale of the Investment Plan is to mobilise private money. This is desperately needed, but many essential projects for EU competitiveness are not able to attract private money, as they do not offer acceptable returns, or any return at all for private investors.

“At some point, public money must also be mobilised in as smart and efficient ways as possible.”

With this in mind, FIEC said it was recommending the safeguarding and reinforcing of the EU budget lines which successfully granted money to projects, such as the Connecting Europe Facility and the Horizon 2020 EU research and innovation programme.

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