The European Fund for Sustainable Development plus endorsed Thursday a package of 24 guarantee programmes to support investments in the EU’s neighbourhood and enlargement countries.

Together with the three guarantees for the Western Balkans to support SMEs approved in December, the new guarantees, worth €2.4 billion, are expected to generate investments in the order of €17 billion in priority sectors, including renewable energy, digital connectivity and private sector competitiveness, under the Economic and Investment Plans (EIPs), which are the vehicles to deliver on Global Gateway in the Western Balkans and South and Eastern Neighbourhood.

“With the assistance of these €2.4 billion new guarantees, we will be able to make about €17 billion in investments in priority sectors, including renewable energy, digital connectivity, and private sector competitiveness, under the Economic and Investment Plans,” said Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi: “These investments will be critical to contribute to the economic growth, job creation, and improving lives of the citizens in our partner countries.”

The EFSD+, the financial arm under the EU’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – Global Europe, provides guarantees to mitigate the risk for investments aligned with EU priorities in our partner countries. EFSD+ supports public and private investment in partner countries worldwide to promote decent job creation, strengthen public and private infrastructure, foster renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, and support the digital economy.

European and international financial institutions, such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and EU national development banks, will work jointly with the European Commission to originate investment opportunities, aligned with the Economic and Investment Plan flagships and that are expected to crowd-in private investors.

Once the guarantee agreements are signed between the EU and a total of 11 European and International Financial Institutions such as the EIB, the EBRD and national development banks, these entities will have three years to generate investments in areas like: the competitiveness of the private sector and the innovation agenda for the Western Balkans; the Black Sea connectivity in the Eastern Neighbourhood; the energy transition and security in the Southern Neighbourhood. The EU guarantee is also expected to increase banks’ finance for small and medium enterprises, as well as to increase the issuance of green bonds in the EU partner countries.

Source: EUbusiness

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