“Juncker Plan”: Do not sacrifice crucial investment programmes for the future of Europe!
The financial plan laid out by the European Commission to guarantee the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), as part of the Juncker Plan, has set legislators on edge in the European Parliament. MEPs have begun examining the proposed regulation by rapporteur Andrzej B. Zdrojewski in the parliamentary committees, where more than 2000 amendments were submitted. This reflects the deep division between the Parliament and the Commission on how the economic rescue plan should be funded. MEPs particularly oppose the idea to back up EFSI with the Horizon 2020 programme (€ 2.7 billion). Other programmes such as Erasmus+ could be put on the table. As the OECD “Education at a Glance” report shows, “despite strained public budgets, governments must keep up their investment to maintain quality in education, especially for those at risk”. EUCIS-LLL believes that the current programmes have proved their added value and calls on EU institutions not to touch their budgets. Besides the Investment Plan works as a loan, leaving the market free to invest in projects that seem profitable whereas Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ are vital and genuine investment programmes supporting research, the modernisation of educational systems and supporting the European construction as a whole, in line with shared political priorities.