Following the adoption of the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), members of the EFSD Strategic Board convened for the first time in Brussels on the 28th of September to discuss overall strategy and investment areas, the so-called ‘investment windows’ that will define the Fund’s priority sectors.
Five such windows were identified as essential:
1. sustainable energy and sustainable connectivity;
2. micro, small, and medium enterprise financing;
3. sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs, and agroindustry;
4. sustainable cities; and
5. digitalization for sustainable development.
Although the EFSD’s initial budget is 3.35 billion EUR, it intends to trigger investments of 44 billion EUR for an initial investment period up to 31 December 2020. The EFSD should operate as a ‘one-stop-shop’, receiving financing proposals from financial institutions and public or private investors and delivering a wide range of financial support to eligible investments.
In order to fulfil the political commitments of the Union on climate action, renewable energy and resource efficiency, a minimum share of 28 % of the financing under the EFSD Guarantee should be devoted to investments relevant for those sectors.
The EFSD Guarantee shall be used to cover the risks for the following instruments:
· loans, including local currency loans;
· capital market instruments;
· any other form of funding or credit enhancement, insurance, and equity or quasi-equity participations
The eligible counterparts for the purposes of the EFSD Guarantee shall be:
· the EIB and the European Investment Fund;
· public law bodies;
· international organisations and their agencies;
The EFSD Strategic Board includes representatives from the EU Member States, the European Investment Bank, as well as the European Parliament as an observer.