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EU ploughs ahead with investment plan

The European Investment Bank has granted €300 million in loans under the European Fund for Strategic Investments, before the fund has been agreed by policymakers.

In a statement on 22 April, the European Commission announced that the EIB had chosen four projects to receive funding. These are a healthcare research project in Spain, the expansion of an airport in Croatia, the construction of 14 healthcare centres across Ireland and activities to promote industrial innovation in Italy.

Although the Efsi regulation has not yet been approved by the European Parliament and a deal is not expected earlier than June, the Commission says the funding has been discharged “as an example of the investments” that the fund may support in the future. But MEPs and science lobby groups have reacted angrily to the development, stating that it will make negotiations on the final Efsi regulation—in which they are hoping to prevent the use of Horizon 2020 funds—more difficult.

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