Statement

New €315 billion EU investment plan will channel funds directly to SMEs – Hayes

Key election commitment covered within 12 months

Today (Wednesday) the European Parliament gave final approval for the EU’s €315 billion Investment Plan (European Fund for Strategic Investment). This was a commitment made by Fine Gael and the EPP during the European election campaign last year. Brian Hayes MEP welcomed the approval saying that it will provide much-needed stimulus for Irish SMEs.

“The EU’s new Investment Plan for Europe is specifically geared towards SMEs that focus on R&D, innovation, education and infrastructure. Ireland is fast becoming a global hub for technology and innovation, particularly for SMEs. This plan will give small Irish businesses the kickstart that is needed to strengthen the economy and deliver more jobs.

“The new fund will be operational at by September and I am confident that it will mobilise over €315 billion over the next three years.

“The Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has recognised that SMEs form the backbone of the European economy and has made it a priority to channel funds to these businesses.

“Ireland has the opportunity to take advantage of this new plan. The government is involved in a joint task force with the Commission, the EIB 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.

“A first tranche of funding through this project has already been earmarked for the Public Private Partnership project for Primary Care Centres in Ireland. This project will deliver 14 new Primary Care Centres and will provide a welcome jobs boost to various parts of the country.”

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