(BRUSSELS2) The "Juncker" package at "300 billion" to revive the economy is starting to take shape (see also: Jean-Claude Juncker's 300 billion plan. How it works ?). The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have just published, on Tuesday (9 December), an initial list of projects seeking European financing. An inventory of European excellence. Many road projects, a little less rail, nuclear or solar power plants, and a few, rarer, innovative projects… And the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the “28” began to debate the idea of investments.
2000 projects on the “golden” list
In all, 2000 projects, representing a total of 1300 billion euros. That is far more than the available envelope. Among them, about thirty French projects, several of which are of great interest to the great West. Several wind farm projects off St-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) or Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados) are on the "golden" list, as is the "Port 2000" project in Le Havre or the renovation short sea shipping terminals.
Other initiatives have a more social focus, to promote urban renewal in the suburbs or connect universities, such as the “eCampus” project carried out at the European University of Brittany. A few innovative projects are mentioned, such as the construction of ships of the future, which consume less energy and are “greener”.
To deduct or not from the figures of the deficit?
The process starts. And there are still many points to be settled. The devil is in the details… In particular who will decide on the projects? What is called “governance” in European language. Some do not trust the bank's experts, considered too far removed from reality. Others are very afraid of seeing the experts from the Member States return who will have only one desire: to give priority to the projects of their countries, what is called “the fair return”.
Then there is the question of the assessment criteria? Do we select projects on the basis of their return on investment or also on their social, collective utility? " Procedures must be put in place to objectively choose the projects that best meet the criteria: efficiency, credibility, modernization of economic life” underlines the French finance minister, Michel Sapin. " There is no need to read a percentage financing obligation, a quota per country. It is not possible. » And to add: " What is important are the projects carried out by several countries, which have a collective, cross-border value: rail, digital interconnection, etc.
Finally, will there be a “bonus” for “investor” States? Some countries would like the public money invested to be able to be deducted from the debt or deficit figures of the stability pact.
It is urgent to decide
But for Michel Sapin, the French finance minister, the important thing is elsewhere. " The key point is urgency. We need at least a few projects to be implemented from 2015. It is in 2015 that we need growth, not in 2017.” And to launch Let’s use the first billion already, without waiting”.
long version of an article published in Ouest-France