Copa and Cogeca welcome EU agreement on European Fund for Strategic Investments

Copa and Cogeca have welcomed an agreement made by EU negotiators on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), stressing the Fund could play a vital role in enabling the EU agriculture sector to reach its potential to boost growth and jobs in EU rural areas

The agreement means that the Fund will become operational and start financing projects at the end of the summer.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “European farmers and agri-cooperatives look forward to having more funding opportunities for promising projects in the context of the Junker Investment Plan. Once the legislative procedure will be concluded as expected by next month, the EFSI will provide some €315 bn investment support to projects worth more than €1.3 trillion. Investments had been lagging behind in the European agri-business sector. Copa and Cogeca is therefore pressing to ensure that more agri-business projects will be included among the investments that will be supported by the EFSI”.

He continued: “Copa-Cogeca is however concerned by budgetary aspects of the agreement, which will allocate an additional €1 bn from unused margins of the EU budget. European farmers and agri-cooperatives are currently facing tough market conditions, with extreme volatility on agriculture markets and an increasing cost-price squeeze in the food supply chain. The Russian ban on EU farm exports is also still weighing heavily on the sector. Adequate budgetary resources must therefore be made available to offset the impact of the Russian crisis also in 2016 if need be”.

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