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Liadh Ní Riada MEP criticises framework of Juncker Plan

11 February, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South has criticised the framework for the European Fund for Strategic Investments, more commonly known as the “Junker Plan”.

Ní Riada who is the Shadow-Rapporteur on the EFSI stated that the plan is far from the “cure all” it is presented as being.

Speaking from Strasbourg this evening, Ní Riada said;

“We are already know that the level of investment proposed in this plan falls way short of what is needed.

“However, the proposed framework through which the fund is to be administered is full of fundamental problems that are deeply concerning.

“Transparency and accountability should be at the heart of this plan. Unfortunately this is not the case. We see this with the steering board, in particular the fact that the managing director of the fund will be appointed by the EIB and the Commission. It is also not acceptable that the managing director will only have to present to parliament twice a year.

“It is also concerning to note that there is no geographic criteria involved. There is no guarantee that countries who are unable to invest in the EFSI will be given priority in terms of accessing the fund.

“The first financial loss of any high risk  investments will be borne by the Investment fund itself.

“The Commission are saying that SMEs are going to benefit hugely from this plan. However, public bodies will not be able to apply solely for these funds and we therefore have no guarantee of the accessibility for SMEs.

“The National pipeline that has been discussed, which is a centralised website, will clearly be advantageous to English speaking countries only.

“The Juncker plan undoubtedly comes with a serious health warning and is very flawed.

“We know at this stage that it is prioritising privatisation to the detriment of public investment.

“On that basis and for the reasons that I have outlined, I believe that the framework of the Investment Plan cannot be supported in its current format.”

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