Statement

Ireland must exert its influence on Juncker’s €300 billion plan – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that Ireland must make its voice heard on Jean-Claude Junker’s proposed €300 billion investment plan for Europe which is due to be decided by the European Commission next week.

“The Commission is expected to decide on Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposed €300 billion investment plan for Europe early next week, after which President Juncker will announce his plan to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Ireland has a significant opportunity to capitalise on the benefits of this plan in order to deliver real growth to the Irish economy particularly through infrastructure projects and SME lending,” said Mr. Hayes.

“Juncker’s €300 billion plan is expected to take existing funds from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank to use as seed funding in order to attract private investment. The plan will mainly look to finance infrastructure projects and will also focus on research and innovation, digital economy and environment,” added MEP Hayes.

“The government is involved in a joint task force with the Commission, the European Investment Bank and other Member States which aims to identify strategic investments that can be undertaken. Ireland must exert its influence on this plan and the government needs to bring to the table sustainable and workable projects across the country which can translate into jobs and growth for the economy.

“This task force will need to bring its final proposals to the European Council meeting on December 18/19. Of course, we need clarity from the Commission as to exactly how much public funds will be used in this plan. Nonetheless, the government needs to put significant resources into ensuring that Ireland extracts the best possible result from this plan,” concluded Mr. Hayes.

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