May 26, 2008
The growth of the European economy needs support by the Union’s budget. Hence, exploiting the strength of the euro, allowance should be made for the possibility of tapping capital and stock markets with Community loans to finance specific projects of European scale and value added, that add to capital stock and have measurable positive returns, albeit perhaps spread over long time horizons. These additional resources could in no case be used to provide extra funds for activities in the current budget of the EU, but would have to be targeted to large projects identified by the Council and the European Parliament, on the basis of a proposal by the Commission.
The resources raised on the capital market should be made available to the project on favourable terms, and to this end the Community budget could shoulder interest payments in part or wholly, but recipients should be required to pay them back over a suitable time horizon. Bonds should be issued directly by the European Commission. A new financial facility could be created for this purpose whose management could be delegated to EIB, under control of the Ecofin Council, Parliament and the Court of Auditors.
Projects to be funded could include investments for the creation of cross-border material and immaterial infrastructures, such as networked research projects with large financing requirements; transport and communication networks; large projects for space, defence, technology for clean energy.