EU finance ministers have reached an understanding on a 315 billion euro (US$338 billion) investment plan to help revive the region’s economy without piling up more debt, Reuters reported.
“The plan is the answer we need to confront the main handicap of the European economy: the lack of investment,” Pierre Moscovici, the EU economics commissioner, was quoted as saying in Brussels Tuesday.
According to the official, investment in Europe had fallen 15-20 percent since 2008.
EU lawmakers must now approve the fund, which is called the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
Under the plan agreed by ministers, the initiative will run for four years but will be reviewed after three years to see if it is working.
A steering board made up by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank will oversee the fund, while an eight-member investment committee will choose the projects.
Authorities hope to get the first projects going by the end of the year, the report said.
A list submitted in December includes plans for housing regeneration in the Netherlands, a new port in Ireland and a fast rail connection between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Other ideas involve refueling stations for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Germany and expanding broadband networks in Spain, the report said.
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