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European Commission Presents $375 Bln Plan to Revive EU Economy

© AP Photo / Markus Schreiber"Europe is back in business," the European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker said referring to plans to revive the EU economy.
Europe is back in business, the European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker said referring to plans to revive the EU economy. - Sputnik International
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"Europe is back in business," the European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker said referring to plans on boosting the EU economy.

MOSCOW, November 26 (Sputnik) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented Wednesday his three-year plan to revive the EU economy by creating a European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), planned to attract at least $375 billion of largely private contributions to high-risk projects.

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“We are offering hope to millions of Europeans disillusioned after years of stagnation. Yes, Europe can still become the epicenter of a major investment drive. Yes, Europe can grow again,“ Juncker said, addressing the EU Parliament.

“We need to invest in our education and innovation systems that are often underfunded and less equipped than those of our key competitors. Investing in people –this is what the social market economy is about,” he added.

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According to Juncker, his plan will address the bloc’s current lack of investment, by providing guarantees to absorb the initial risks associated with starting new projects, important to the development of the 28-member bloc.

“We need to send a message to the people of Europe and to the rest of the world: Europe is back in business,” Junker said.

According to the European Commission President, the EFSI will initially have 21 billion euros ($26 billion) at its disposal, with 16 billion euros ($20 billion) coming from the EU budget and 5 billion euros ($6 billion) from the European Investment Bank. EU member nations will also be encouraged to invest in the fund. Juncker said he hopes that in three years the fund will accumulate at least $375 billion.

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The European Fund for Strategic Investment is Juncker’s first major move since he assumed office in early November. The plan will be presented to EU member nations' leaders at the next European Council meeting in Brussels in December and is expected to be approved by summer 2015. According to European Commission estimates, the plan will create up to 1.3 million jobs.

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