With a dedicated budget for social investments and skills, InvestEU holds many opportunities in store to improve access to finance for social economy actors.

What is InvestEU?

InvestEU is one of the programmes of the next EU budget (2021-2027). It is both a policy instrument and a delivery tool:

  • as policy instrument, the InvestEU Programme's overall objective is to support the policy objectives of the Union by mobilising public and private investment within the EU;
  • as delivery tool, the InvestEU Fund aims to implement the EU budget through a budgetary guarantee more efficiently, achieving economies of scale, and increasing the visibility of the EU.

The programme consists of three pillars: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. Since the start of 2018, EVPA has been closely following the InvestEU negotiations, focusing on the InvestEU Fund and Advisory Hub.

The InvestEU Fund

Through the InvestEU Fund, the European Commission will provide an EU guarantee of €26.2 billion, divided into four windows which define the policy areas that InvestEU supports:

  • Sustainable Infrastructure (€9.8 billion);
  • Research, Innovation and Digitalization (€6.5 billion);
  • Small and Medium Businesses (€6.9 billion), and
  • Social Investment and Skills (€2.8 billion).
Invest EU pillars 2021

What is the social investment and skills window and why does it matter?

EVPA sees the “Social Investment and Skills” window as very promising for the development of the social finance sector. This window will target investments in social enterprises, microfinance, training, social housing, social innovation, integration of migrants and other sectors within the social sphere.

75% of the EU guarantee will be deployed through the EIB Group, the remaining 25% is open to other implementing partners, such as national promotional banks and institutions (NPBIs). This should ensure that also smaller projects will be eligible for funding and that the investments take into account local and sectoral specificities.

Invest EU implementation chain 2021 01

InvestEU under the Just Transition Mechanism

The InvestEU scheme is one of the 3 pillars of the Just Transition Mechanism , which aims to mobilise private investment to contribute to a social, fair and just transition while reaching the EU goals for climate neutrality.

30% of the InvestEU operations contribute towards climate objectives, as well as 60% of the Sustainable Infrastructure Window operations contribute towards climate and environment targets.

Invest EU Just Transition 2021 01

Source: European Commission, Just Transition Mechanism

What is EVPA doing with InvestEU?

  • monitors the developments around InvestEU;
  • communicates any interesting EU funding opportunities relevant to investors for impact on its website and via its monthly newsletter;
  • helps to facilitate the dialogue between the implementing partners and social finance providers to ensure financing tools that are fit to the social investment sector.

The InvestEU Advisory Hub

The InvestEU Advisory Hub
will ensure that funds are used most efficiently and that financial instruments are adapted to local and regional needs. The advisory support will be delivered along the four policy windows of the InvestEU Fund, and it will also have a cross-sectoral component to cover horizontal needs.

The advisory services will be available to public and private project promoters, as well as financial and other intermediaries that take care of the implementation of financing and investment operations. They will cover three lines of support:

  1. Project advisory: project identification, preparation, financial structuring, establishment of investment platforms and blending facilities, …
  2. Capacity building: strengthening investment readiness and capacity of organisations, environmental and social sustainability impact assessments, procurement and compatibility with State Aid rules
  3. Market development: preparatory activities in the form of studies, market assessment for policy development, communication and awareness raising

75% of the EU advisory envelope will be allocated to the EIB. The remaining 25% will be divided among:

  • other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and NPBIs who need to apply through a call for proposals by the Commission, or who sign an advisory agreement with the EIB; and
  • external service providers who will be granted a service contract by the Commission through a call for tenders (e.g. consultancy companies, sectoral associations).

The main principles of the advisory services is that they ensure local and sectoral outreach, and cover all Member States, with the notion that Member States with a comprehensive market gap will receive more advisory services.

In 2021 EVPA strengthened its relationship with the European investment Bank (EIB) thanks to a one-year partnership under the Advisory Platform for Social Outcomes Contracting (SOC ). This initiative is part of the activities performed by the EIB Advisory Hub. Read more about it here.

Contact for more info

Bianca Polidoro , Senior Policy and EU Partnerships Manager, EVPA

Cătălina Papari , Policy and EU Partnerships Associate, EVPA

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