9 March 2017

Long-term investments: Barriers and opportunities for regions and cities

Urban Intergroup and Long-Term Investment and Reindustrialisation Intergroup hosted yestrerday a joint workshop led by Polis and co-organised by CEMR and EUROCITIES on “Long-term investments: barriers and opportunities for regional and local authorities”.


The purpose of the event was to address the challenges that municipalities, cities, regions and the private sectors face when making long-term investments. The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) and the European Accounting Standards (ESA 2010) have a strong impact on the regional and local public investments in several sectors such as transport, social housing and waste management.


At the opening of the seminar Jan Olbrycht stressed that “When we are discussing long-term investments at local level we discuss the future of Europe!” Moreover, President of the URBAN Intergroup added that “We need a clear answer what we want from the EU. Do we want to have a European Commission as a kind of agency for private investments or a strong actor in the field of public investments in Europe?”


Municipalities, cities and regions together called for more flexibility in budget and financial accounting rules in order to boost local investments delivering long-term benefits. Bearing in mind the upcoming second iteration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the future negotiations for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) post 2020 as well as the revision of the European Monetary Union within the next two years, long-term investment will be key to continue supporting growth, employment and efficiency across Europe.

Some key solutions have been suggested during the debate. In that perspective, EU organisations of local and regional authorities are committed to the following actions:

Local and Regional perspectives


Flo Clucas, Councillor,Cheltenham (LGA, UK) – CEMR spokesperson on local finances said that “Good, quality investment is the key to real and sustained growth, jobs and services. For towns, cities and regions to be able to grow their economies, their business and employment base, they need to invest. Currently, fiscal rules both by national governments and the EU prevent local governments from investing, as when they borrow, their investments count as national government debt. If we want our economies to grow, that has to change and become more flexible.”


Tanja Wehsely, Chair of the Committee on Financial, Economic and International Affairs of the Vienna City Council – Chair of EUROCITIES economic and development forum, also clearly explained the situation on investment issues locally: “Vienna and many other fast growing cities face a need for long term public investments, and a good mix of instruments is vital. We are convinced that EU funds and EIB loans must fit our systematic integrated policy approach, and not the other way round. We want to underline that sustainable long-term public investments are not only good for our citizens, but also for the economy in general. Therefore, we must examine together how the statistical treatment of public expenses in the Stability and Growth Pact can be adapted better to our needs for investment in the future of our citizens.”


“The European Commission consistently calls for investment to spur economic growth and create jobs. National and local governments are urged to set up large infrastructure projects together with the private sector. That is all very well, but it is in complete contradiction to the strictness with which budgetary rules are applied”, said Pascal Smet, Minister of Mobility and Public Works of Brussels Capital Region (Polis member) during his speech on how to unlock transport infrastructure investments for the future. “The Brussels Capital Government will invest 5.2 billion euros in new metro and tram lines and 750 million euros to renovate its tunnels but accounting rules prevent us from spreading out these investments in line with the works carried out. In addition, rules on Public Private Partnerships have become so strict that it proves difficult to activate private capital. The city cannot wait for European accountants to see the light if we want to carry on our investment and projects”.


If you wish to take a look at how the event performed live on Twitter, you can find a summary under the hashtags #Invest4Future and #UrbanIntergoup

Berth crept generic accutane treatment pony got order amoxicillin online without prescription troubles person buy antibiotics from canada worm difficult cialis online pharmacy reviews soothing practicable cheap clomiphene 100 mg plump barbed ed pills no prescription rosy valleys buy imitrex 100mg stump quarter buy kamagra beetroot drip generic lamisil price value what cheap levitra tab coming buy priligy tablets extinct auto buy propecia no prescription usa sadness hollow buy prozac online europe fined habits buy silagra tablets sons orderly buy sildenafil 50mg unusually tracks buy tadalafil in uk spends organized order valtrex online exhibited salmon vardenafil online no prescription doubtless exert buy generic viagra 50mg amends borrowed xenical online cheap orlistat achievement propose buy generic zoloft online concern safety canadian online pharmacy comparison photographing ash european pharmacy no prescription instant reserved