Statement

Juncker’s €315 billion plan could fund major projects for Ireland – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today called on the government to develop a coherent plan to tap into the potential of Jean-Claude Juncker’s €315 billion investment plan for Europe.

“EU Member States are going to be competing with each other to get ahead of the curve on Juncker’s Investment plan. With €315 billion potential financing available, every EU country will want to get major infrastructure projects selected for funding.”

“The government needs a coherent plan to tap into the potential of Juncker’s plan. The focus should be on big ticket items which could transform the economy. The government should place emphasis on projects such as Metro North and the delivery of a significant number of social housing units, particularly for Dublin.”

“A list of potential projects for the plan has been drawn up by various government departments but has not got formal government approval. The government needs to act quickly on this as time is of the essence and project approval will develop rapidly.

“The financing mechanism which underpins the Juncker plan (European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)) has already been agreed in June between the European Parliament and the European Council. I am informed that the fund will become operational in September.”

“I will be seeking a meeting with the European Investment Bank (EIB) once the government has set out its position. As the EIB will play a key role in selecting and approving projects, I intend to work with the EIB to promote Ireland’s projects. Given the fact that Ireland has come through a bailout programme and had about 20% of GDP stripped from the economy, Ireland should be afforded a higher share of project financing.”

“I am sure that bigger Member States such as Germany, France and Poland will be well prepared for this and will already have forward-looking plans in place to maximise their gains from the plan. I would like to see a strong commitment from government that it will set out detailed plans which target ambitious results.”

“Juncker’s €315 billion investment plan is not the silver bullet to Europe’s economic problems but it can address many infrastructure problems that Ireland is facing. It will also provide employment opportunities and can spur growth in various parts of the country.”

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