The European Commission has said that recent evaluations of the European Fund for Strategic Investments justify the decision to expand it, despite criticism from auditors.
In September the Commission published a proposal to increase the size of the fund to €500 billion by 2020, from its original plan to leverage €315bn in investments by 2018. But the European Court of Auditors responded with an opinion saying that the Commission had acted “too soon” and should have waited for the results of an independent evaluation—adding that the ‘multiplier’ effect of Efsi’s investment leveraging had been overstated.
Today the Commission hit back, saying that both the ECA’s opinion and two independent evaluations justified its decision. Efsi “has already proven useful in encouraging a sustainable increase in investment across EU member states”, the Commission said in a press release.