Rõivas, EU leaders cautiously endorse 3-year, €315-billion investment program

Taavi Rõivas (front), in Brussels on Thursday. (Courtesy of Government Office)
12/19/2014 2:43 PM
Category: Politics

European Union leaders, including Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, endorsed a new €315-billion investment program intended to kick-start economic growth at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, despite a split between EU members over its contents.

The investment program, which will include money for both private and public companies, is scheduled to be achieved within three years, and stimulate the economy and encourage job creation.

European Council President Donald Tusk said in a video statement that the EU had agreed to three things: “One, we call for the urgent establishment of a European fund for strategic investments. Two, a renewed commitment to intensify structural reforms. Three, continued efforts to ensure sound public finances.”

Tusk also said there was a work plan to address energy, the digital single market, and topics such as tax avoidance and evasion.

Rõivas said Estonia basically supports the investment plan, assuming that there is a clear link between the money and its overall objectives. In his opinion, he said, the investment objectives of the plan are particularly important, and need to involve the private sector and combat barriers that discourage investment.

The Prime Minister said Estonia basically supports the investment plan, assuming that it is a clear link between the overall objectives of the European Union. He expressed the opinion that the investment objectives of the plan are particularly important to involve the private sector and to combat the barriers that discourage investment.

"Estonia supports the improvement of the investment activity and environment in the European Union," Rõivas said. "Increased investment activity will stimulate the economy and help create many new jobs."

The plan, however, has become contentious because members contributing to the new European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) would not get into trouble if their contribution resulted in their deficits break EU budget rules that are contained in the Stability and Growth Pact.

Many countries are taking a cautious approach to the plan, according to AFP, and are awaiting the plan's details.

Rõivas also stressed the investment should not jeopardize the fulfillment of the rules of the Pact.

“The conditions imposed by the the Stability and Growth Pact must not slacken, because it could jeopardize national fiscal sustainability," he said.

S. Abel

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