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 The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group have delivered on their pledge to mobilise €315 billion in additional investment under the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. The Juncker Plan was launched in November 2014 to reverse the downward trend of low levels of investment and put Europe on the path to economic recovery. Backed by a budget guarantee from the European Union and

own resources from the EIB Group, 898 operations have been approved, which are expected to trigger €335 billion in investment across the 28 EU Member States. This is more than the original goal of €315 billion set in 2015 when EFSI was launched, helping to close the investment gap left as a result of the financial and economic crisis. 700,000 small and medium-sized companies are set to benefit from improved access to finance. Given the EFSI's success, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed last year to extend its duration and capacity to €500 billion by end-2020.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The Juncker Plan has proven to be a success. We surpassed the original €315 billion investment target and the European Fund for Strategic Investments is set to create 1.4 million jobs and increase EU GDP by 1.3% by 2020. We have financed projects which without the EFSI would not have been possible, and all without creating new debt: two thirds of the investment comes from the private sector. From financing job-training for refugees in Finland to renewable energy in Greece to farming in Bulgaria – we will continue to use the EU budget for what it does best: to catalyse growth."

In terms of jobs and growth, the EIB's Economics Department and the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) estimate that EFSI operations have already supported more than 750,000 jobs with the figure set to rise to 1.4 million jobs by 2020 compared to the baseline scenario. In addition, calculations show that the Juncker Plan has already increased EU GDP by 0.6% and it is set to increase EU GDP by 1.3% by 2020. Two thirds of the €335 billion raised comes from private resources, meaning that the EFSI has also met its objective of mobilising private investment.

Measured against the size of the economy, the biggest impact is in countries that were hard hit by the crisis, i.e. Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. While the direct investment impact is particularly high in those countries, the calculations found that cohesion regions (mostly Eastern European countries) are likely to benefit more from a long-term effect.

Antitrust case.  The European Commission has fined Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules.

Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search. Google must now bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

Commission registers two European Citizens' Initiatives.  The College of Commissioners has today decided to register two European Citizens' Initiatives.

The first, entitled 'Permanent European Union Citizenship', intends to guarantee that European citizenship and its associated rights cannot be lost once they have been attained. The organisers cite in particular the context of Brexit and the future loss of EU citizenship and rights by UK nationals. The registration of this Initiative will take place on 23 July 2018.

The second initiative is entitled 'Stop starvation for 8% of the European population'. The stated objectives include "to prompt governments to embrace the hunger problem" and to "emphasise the responsibility of governments to eradicate the problem." The organisers have set out a detailed list of actions where they call on the Commission to make legislative proposals. The registration of this initiative will take place on 19 July.

The Commission's decision to register these Initiatives concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage. Should the initiatives receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months.

Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom.  Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator for Article 50 negotiations, debriefed the College of Commissioners on the latest state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom. He informed the College that a round of negotiations is currently ongoing and that he will meet the new Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Dominic Raab, tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

 

 

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