Delivering his '2016 State of the Union Address' to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, President Juncker announced a new European External Investment Plan (EIP) to boost investments in Africa and EU Neighbourhood countries. The EIP will use EUR 3.35 billion from the European Union budget and that of the European Development Fund to support innovative guarantees and similar instruments in support of private investment, enabling the EIP to mobilise up to EUR 44 billion of investments. If Member States and other partners match the EU's contribution, the total amount could reach EUR 88 billion.
President Juncker stated that by unlocking investments in partner countries, the EIP would reinforce EU partnerships and contribute to implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Agenda on Financing for Development.
On her part, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, said: "If we look at the Middle East and Africa, we see regions with a huge potential that is being held back by war, poverty, the lack of infrastructure, and weak governance. Our European Union is already the first donor worldwide: we invest more in development cooperation than the rest of the world combined. But we also know that public resources cannot be sufficient if we want to untap this huge potential and achieve the sustainable development goals. European firms are already creating jobs and growth in our entire neighbourhood and in Africa, for the benefit of our partners and of the European citizens. While creating the conditions for Europeans to expand their business and move into new countries, the new External Investment Plan will support our partners' economies and societies, as well as our strategic foreign policy goals, from security to global development."