Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March, 2021 at 11:03 am by Andre Camilleri
Labour MEP Alfred Sant has urged EU-funding programmes to support strategic investments in the area of health, a sector that urgently needs public support after years of dwindling investment and laissez-faire attitude by EU governments
In a statement to the plenary of the European Parliament, Dr Sant said he voted in favour of the InvestEU Programme because, through its implementation, the EU economy will continue to receive an injection of much-needed public investment.
The InvestEU programme succeeds the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), established in 2015 to increase public and private investment in Europe. The new programme brings together financial instruments aiming to support investments that are crucial for economic growth.
Dr Sant expressed hope that, unlike its predecessor, the InvestEU programme will achieve greater and deeper geographical balance in its disbursement of funding. To this effect, a number of amendments tabled by Dr Sant were maintained in the final text of the agreement. Their objective is to avoid a repeat of EFSI where both Malta and Cyprus featured at the bottom of the list of recipients.
Although not any longer the highlight of EU funding packages, the InvestEU programme remains essential in that it should create €400bn of investment towards major EU priorities such as the digital transition and climate targets.
“Looking forward, EU institutions should keep the pressure on implementing partners in order to avoid a situation whereby support goes for the easy projects. Rather, the focus here should be on economic areas and regions where investment is most direly needed and where private actors would hesitate to invest,” Dr Sant stated.