rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy . – Madam President, the conclusion of the trilogues on EFSI showed that all parties had strong incentives to improve it by correcting its inefficiencies, namely the concentration of the funds to economies and sectors that needed it less. So I want to congratulate the success of the co-rapporteurs, Udo Bullmann and José Manuel Fernandes, for their efforts to achieve significant improvements.
On behalf of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), our main concerns regarding the expansion of eligible sectors in the digital economy, the funding of SMEs, extension of SMEs window, the blending of EFSI and ESIF funds, and environmental considerations were properly addressed this time. However, one point I would like to highlight, which is important for the ITRE Committee and which remains unresolved despite our efforts to emphasise it, is that the requirement of delinking the EFSI guarantee from the Member States’ macroeconomic requirements under the Stability and Growth Pact.
There is also a straightforward message: reductionary fiscal policy kills the demand for lendable funds, and the EFSI is a supply side instrument. Now we know that supply cannot create its own demand, so it sends a clear message to policymakers regarding the limits of supply side financial instruments as long as the demand is weak. No significant improvements will reach the real economy. Our new challenge should be exactly this: how will an EFSI3 programme in the future manage to boost demand and produce ...