Administrator in charge: Tzonka Iotzova
Assistant: Samar Khanafer
The EESC welcomes the establishment of the European External Investment Plan (EIP) and the proposal for a Regulation on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and establishing the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund as steps in the right direction towards tackling the causes of irregular migration at its roots. The eradication of poverty is also a goal on which the EFSD should focus. The Committee calls for a particular focus on resolving the situation in the countries that are the main source of migration where economic, social and security conditions have led to economic devastation and spiralling poverty while blocking any efforts towards sustainable development.
The Committee refers to its previous opinions where it has stressed the need to involve the private sector in development on condition that such development is in line with the sustainable development goals and that the private sector respects basic economic, environmental and social rights, the core International Labour Organisation(ILO) conventions and the Decent Work Agenda. This should apply also to the investment projects financed by the EFSD.
The Committee considers the proposal on the EFSD compliant with its recommendation to use development assistance as a multiplying factor for matching private capital with investments in developing countries and to link them to clearly defined aims, such as the creation of more and better jobs, production quality improvement and transfer of management know-how to the private sector.
The Committee calls on the Commission to study and analyse the experience of the implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe and the European Fund for Strategic Investment to avoid any shortcomings and obstacles taking into consideration that the situations in the partner countries covered by the EFSD are much more complicated than those in the EU Member States.
The Committee welcomes the coordination of the cooperation and governance through the strategic board of the EFSD where all the relevant institutions and bodies should be represented. Given the irreplaceable role of civil society in development cooperation, the EESC asks to be given the status of observer on the strategic board and recommends involving the representative civil society organisations in partner countries in the decision making process, including the preparation of concrete projects.
The Committee recommends that the one-stop shop to be established for the investors should not be limited to investment issues but should provide guidance and all necessary information and contacts for those who would like to engage in development activities.
The Committee would suggest that the Regulation include the commitment to extend the validity of the EFSD and the Guarantee beyond the limit of 2020 after the evaluation of the results of its implementation and calls on the Commission, the Council and the EP to take this into consideration when preparing the new Multiannual Financial Framework.