The EU’s Financial Architecture for External Investment: Progress, Challenges, and Options

Author
Hannah Timmis, Mikaela Gavas
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Center for Global Development
Abstract
In 2017, the EU launched an ambitious programme of investment mobilisation in Africa and the Neighbourhood: the External Investment Plan (EIP). The EIP aims to increase the scale, impact, and coherence of EU-supported external investment by introducing various innovations to the European financial architecture, including a new guarantee mechanism and a unique “three-pillar” approach to investment support. The European Commission is proposing a significant expansion of the EIP under the EU’s new long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–27, replacing the current plethora of investment tools and modalities with a single framework. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the EU’s complex external investment architecture. Based on interviews with stakeholders, it documents lessons learned during the EIP’s first year of implementation and proposes a series of options for the design and operationalisation of the new investment framework. To increase the additionality, development effectiveness, and efficiency of EU-supported external investment, it recommends that the European Commission improve the current architecture by providing greater policy steer to investors; increasing competition among institutions for investment support; clarifying linkages between the three pillars; setting clear guidance, fee structures, and standardised contractual terms; and strengthening management of investment tools.
Topic
Regional Cooperation, European Union, Finance, Investment
Political Geography
Europe