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Greater use of EU loans planned

The European Commission plans to rely more heavily on loans to support innovation and economic growth in the EU after 2020, in response to tighter constraints on the bloc’s budget.

Research, innovation and technological leadership should be the priorities in the 2021-27 EU budget, Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen told the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy on 23 April. But the EU will “have to do more with less” because of the budget hole caused by the UK’s departure from the bloc and challenges such as security, he warned.

To achieve this, the Commission is developing the InvestEU Fund concept, he said. This will build on the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which was launched in 2015 to increase investment in infrastructure and innovation by using the EU budget to loosen the purse strings of national and commercial lenders. From 2021, the Commission plans to merge Efsi and other EU-managed financial instruments into a single instrument, Katainen said. 

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