Housing Europe was invited by the European Policy Centre (EPC), to speak at their Policy Dialogue jointly organised with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the topic ‘Bridging the investment gap in social care and infrastructure: What role for the post-2020 EU budget?’ that took place on 19 June 2018.
While negotiations on the next EU budget are set to continue into 2019, Housing Europe is identifying risks and opportunities for social, public and cooperative housing providers. While we resist proposals to cut cohesion policy which has been a vital source of direct grants for housing renovation and fuel poverty reduction, we also work to evaluate the potential interest of the recently proposed EU-Invest package. The support of the EIB to the sector is growing both through conventional loans, reaching 14 billion Euro, and through the first Junker package which provided public guarantees for higher risk projects. The new EU-invest (follow up to the Junker package) draft proposes to open access to the European public guarantee to national development banks, introduces a window dedication to ‘social infrastructure’ and raises the funding for the advisory hub to 500 million.
Joining a panel with Frank Lee from the European Investment Bank and Lieve Franssen, co-author of the recent report ‘Boosting investment in Social Infrastructure in Europe’ at the event Sorcha Edwards outlined Housing Europe’s initial reaction to the proposal and the willingness to work together with EU institutions and partners to inform social investment initiatives at EU level so that they actually meet local needs. Sorcha stressed that there is also a need to carefully listen to the voices of regions and cities around Europe with regards EU state aid legislation and stability and growth pact interpretations to ensure that they do not contradict these measures to boost investment. Housing Europe is member of the EU Housing Partnership on Housing where these legislative issues are addressed under the ‘ better regulation’ strand.