October 12 – Lunch Debate on "financing sustainable cities : ensuring long term investments for urban transport (tram, light rail and metro systems) – European Parliament

On October 12, in cooperation with UNIFE and Eurocities, the Long-term investment Intergroup held a lunch-debate on the financing of urban transport infrastructures. 

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Download the biography of the speakers

Download the presentation of Pierre Aubouin, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations,

Download the presentation of Mark-R Sontag, Siemens, (UNIFE)

Download the presentation of Aleksandra Olejnik, City of Lodz ( Eurocities)

MEP Dominique Riquet, Chair of the LTI Intergroup, welcomed the participants to the lunch-debate, saying that events of this kind are important to bring together different types of actors, as a way to bridge investment gaps, given that local authorities have huge role to play in funding, and that project promoters lack necessary information on EFSI.

Philippe Citroen, Director General of UNIFE, stressed on the importance of ESI Funds in contributing to the implementation of projects in cities investing in urban rail networks. Thanks to this, a lot of cities in Central and Eastern European countries have been able to invest in urban rail projects. Nevertheless, improvements are needed with EFSI, given that the we have experienced a very gradual take-off, with some urban rail projects in the waiting list for the signoff of the EIB Board of Directors.

Ana Lisa Boni, Secretary General of EUROCITIES, mentioned the importance of rail infrastructure in contributing to the shift towards more sustainable mobility. She underlined the importance for cities to easily access funding for investing in different sectors, as the most pressing challenges of our society have a stronger impact in cities. For this reason, investment in cities will contribute to make Europe a more liveable place.

Aleksandra Oleynik, Coordinator of the activities of the City of Łódź in international organisations, presented a city case on how investing in urban rail helped to reduce traffic congestion and improve living conditions within the city. She presented two EU-funded urban rail projects: a new underground railway station and the tramway infrastructure modernisation.

Mark Sontag, Executive Director of Mobility Finance at Siemens Financial Services, stressed that digitisation has helped to reduce congestion through apps, C-ITS, etc. He said that grant funding must remain high for what concerns mobility, and therefore EFSI can’t totally replace these mechanisms.

Pierre Aubouin, Head of the Infrastructure & Transportation Department at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, emphasised how the involvement of private investors could generate impetus for a greater use of EFSI for urban rail projects, and suggested to local authorities more openness regarding new financing schemes, in order to easily access EFSI funds. He also affirmed that investing in urban rail can help avoiding the spread of too many shared mobility platforms (like UBER).

MEP Novakov moderated the debate, and recalled the 750 billion Euros needed complete the TEN-T network, specifying that every billion Euros invested in the TEN-T network provides 10.000 jobs, thus TEN-T network’s enhancement is fundamental to boost clean transport and jobs. He also reiterated the TRAN Committee’s commitment for a fairer share of EU budget allocated to transport in the post-2020 programming period. 

October 17 – The State of Housing in the EU 2017 – European Parliament and Committee of the Regions

The Housing Europe Observatory presents at the European Parliament the 2017 edition of its flagship report ‘The State of Housing in the EU’ under the auspices of the European Parliament Long-term Investment Intergroup. It will be a precious occasion  to bring the housing debate to the EU Institutions putting particular focus on investment as a response to Europe’s housing challenge.

The morning session will be held at the European Parliament in room ASP 1E1 from 11am to 1pm. 

The afternon session will be held at the Committee of the Regions, from 14:00 to 17:00, Room JDE 70 .

The report at a glance: Detailed statistics per EU Member State – The latest housing trends in a cross-country observation – A compilation of the most significant policy updates since 2015 – Analysis of the interaction of housing policies and EU policies – The effect that challenges at local level have on housing

 More information and agenda

Paris Conference on social infrastructure

 On July 10, the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) organised, under the auspices of the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI), a conference on “Financing social infrastructure” which gathered more than a hundred European participants. The high level speakers, including former European Commission President Romano Prodi and the former French Economy and Finance Minister Christian Sautter, noted a lack of investment in the fields of “Education, health and social housing in the European Union”.

The conference stressed the importance of finding innovative financing for these infrastructures which have a strong impact on the daily lives of European citizens. Hospitals, universities and social housing are all sectors that ensure both the attractiveness of the territories and the well-being of citizens.

Opening the conference, Pierre-René Lemas, Director General of CDC, underlined the role of an institution such as the Caisse des Dépôts in financing social infrastructure. “The role of the Caisse des Dépôts is to accompany the territories by funding the necessary equipment so essential for the daily life of all citizens: social housing, hospitals, universities, public buildings.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Promoting inclusive growth through the financing of social infrastructure projects is one of the CEB’s priority areas of operation, and I am pleased that the conference addresses this important issue. Indeed, in recent years we have stepped up our cooperation with central governments, regional authorities and municipalities in our member countries in order to lend our full support to their social investments.”

Concluding the conference, Laurent Zylberberg, President of the ELTI association, recalled the important contribution that European public financial institutions can make to the reflection on the financing of social infrastructure. “By taking the initiative to launch a reflection on the financing of social infrastructure, and with the support of prominent figures like Romano Prodi and Christian Sautter, our association affirms the social relevance of the economic model of long-term investors.”

February 7 – Intergroup dinner-debate – EU prudential regulation, balancing growth orientation : the green investment agenda and stability

On 7 February, 2017, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament together with the European Financial Services Round Table – EFR – held a dinner debate on EU prudential regulation and incentives towards green investments.

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List of the speakers

Denis DUVERNE, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AXA, Vice-Chairman of the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR)               

Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, European Commission

Sir Adrian MONTAGUE, Chairman of Aviva, Chair of the European Financial Services Round Table’s working group on Climate Change

Mikołaj DOWGIELEWICZ, Permanent Representative of the European Investment Bank to the European Union

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Download the biography of the speakers

Download the list of participants

Urban Intergroup – Long-term investments: Barriers and opportunities for regions and cities – March 8, 2017 – European Parliament

 

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

Wednesday, 8th of March 2017, from 14.00 to 16.00, in the European Parliament, Brussels

Room JAN 6Q1

What are the challenges faced by the regional, local authorities as well as the private sectors regarding long-term investments? How can the EU help to overcome them?

This event will try and address these questions and will include presentations on key issues, followed by a debate featuring EU institutions, city politicians and financial experts on the current Eurostat rules and their impact on regional and local public investments in several sectors such as transport, energy efficiency and waste management.

It will be the occasion to better understand and explore possible avenues to transform current barriers into future opportunities for region and cities. A catalogue featuring examples of barriers experienced by all sectors will also be presented and distributed at the event.

Registration

Agenda

ELTI – Romano Prodi chaired the first Plenary Meeting of the High-Level Task-Force on Social Infrastructure

Launched by the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI) chaired by Laurent Zylberberg, the High-Level Task Force on Social Infrastructure (“HLTF SI”) held its first plenary meeting in Brussels on February 13th under the chairmanship of Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and Christian Sautter former French Minister of Economy, Finances and Industry.

The “HLTF SI” will publish recommendations by the end of the year to promote the financing of social infrastructure (health, education, social housing…). More than 20 experts will provide input to the Task Force organised in two working groups. They will focus on “the investment needs in social infrastructure” and the “availability and gaps on long-term financing to support investment in this area”.

Infrastructure is essential to economic productivity and to the functioning of societies and is a crucial prerequisite for economic growth. Among them, social infrastructure, particularly those linked to the health, education and social housing sectors, contribute to improving the living conditions of European citizens but also to the competitiveness of the territories. However, this type of infrastructure, even when demand is growing, is faced with an insufficient supply of financing (knowledge economy, aging population, changes in the real estate market, etc.).

At the end of the meeting, the President of the European Long-Term Investors Association Laurent Zylberberg declared: “The High-Level Task-Force on Social Infrastructure maximizing public value is an ambitious process carried out within the framework of the ELTI association with the support of its members including Caisse des Dépôts Group, Cassa Depositi e prestiti, KFW, its associate members Council of Europe Development Bank, LTIIA and its permanent guest the European Investment Bank. The involvement of Romano Prodi, Christian Sautter, the National Promotional Banks and Institutions, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and of the most relevant stakeholders in this Task Force are both a guarantee for success and a sign of the relevance of this initiative. The Task-Force will propose, by the end of the year, recommendations that we hope to be both innovative and achievable.

The members of the HLTF SI are: Romano Prodi (Chairman), Christian Sautter (Vice-Chairman), Benjamin Angel, Antonella Baldino, Guido Bichisao, Lieve Fransen (chair WG 1), Lutz-Christian Funke, Edoardo Reviglio, Valeria Ronzitti, Bernadette Ségol, Eugene Zhuchenko, Laurent Zylberberg, Luc Zelderloo, Enrico Giovannini, Helmut von Glasenapp.

See press release

Investing in Energy Consumers’ future – European Parliament – ASP 5E2

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On January 10, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament held a conference on the improvement of energy efficiency for the benefits of consumers. The event brought together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), officials from the European Commission, and representatives of the industrial and the financial sector and of the civil society.

List of the speakers

Simona BONAFE, MEP, Vice-president of the Long-term Investment Intergroup                           

Dominique RISTORI, Director-General for Energy, European Commission

Dochul CHOI, Vice president of Samsung and member of the steering committee of European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED)

Round-table – From industry to consumers: energy efficient and smart solutions for a low carbon economy:

Moderator : Theresa Griffin, MEP

Federico DE STEFANI, CEO of SITGroup, European Heating Industry (Ehi)

Sylvie PERRIN, Head of Project, Smart Electric Lyon, EDF

Justin WILKES, Deputy Director, European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardization (ECOS)

Alain CAUCHY, Property Director, Group Société Nationale Immobilière (SNI), Caisse des Dépôts Group

Paul HODSON, Head of Unit “Energy Efficiency”, DG Energy, European Commission

Opening remarks and keynote speech

After welcoming the participants and introducing the speakers, MEP Simona BONAFE outlined the objectives of the Long Term Investment group: stimulating the debate on the lack of public and private investment throughout Europe. She stressed that bringing together legislators, investors and public operators is key to fostering more investments and that energy is one of the field where such investments are needed. Simona BONAFE further explained that contributions from the consumers are an essential aspect of the energy transition: their choices in the technology and smart applications they use or their understanding of their energy consumption help identify priority issues. In addition to being consumers, they must be enabled to enter the market as producers of renewable energies. As she explained, massive renovation is also needed throughout Europe to make buildings more energy efficient and such effort can only be undertaken through large scale and forward-thinking investments. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can be part of this renovation effort, but beyond EFSI, energy efficiency policies need to be improved. She concluded her remarks by welcoming the fact that each of the eight legislative texts proposed by the Commission in the “Clean Energy for all” package addresses the issue of consumers’ rights.

Dominique RISTORI, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, delivered the first keynote speech. Mr. RISTORI stated that a successful management of the energy transition will be crucial in order to implement the Paris agreement. Those investments should focus on energy efficiency, renewable energies, as well as the development of smart and innovative products. Discussing the “Clean Energy for all” package, presented by the Commission in November 2016, the Director-General insisted on the necessity for European institutions to negotiate rapidly on these issues. He explained that this package is coherent and will be decisive in fostering investments and expanding consumers’ rights. A sound and clear regulatory framework is the first imperative for investments. Europe must remain the first driving force in the renewable energy sector. This calls for strong association between, the industry, the energy sector and research and innovation actors to produce the best renewables possible. Mr. RISTORI believes that this package also empowers consumers, in a way that has never been done before, enabling them to increase their level of information. Consumers should be able to become active and informed actors, allowing them to become producers or store electricity.

The second keynote speech was given by Dr. Dochul CHOI, vice-president of Samsung, on behalf of CECED, association representing the home appliance industry in Europe, including 20 companies as Direct Members. As Dr CHOI pointed out, energy and consumers are both at the heart of the home appliance industry and the sector has developed a strong connection with consumers throughout Europe. He conveyed his support to the proposals presented by the Commission in the “Clean Energy for all” package, specifically the provisions enabling consumers to contribute more actively to the energy market. He underlined on how consumers’ contribution can help shape the energy market and the home appliance sector. Dochul CHOI hopes that these legislative proposals will translate into effective actions. Research and development in the Home appliance sector currently represents investments of 1.4 billion euros annually and the sector as a whole is looking to develop smarter and energy efficient appliances. Dr. CHOI concluded his remarks by indicating that CECED released its first report on the contribution of the Home Appliance industry to Europe on January 10.  

Round table “From industry to consumers: energy efficient and smart solutions for a low carbon economy”

MEP Theresa Griffin gave a few introductory remarks on the “Clean Energy for all” package. From her perspective, the challenge is to involve all Europeans: the alleviation of energy poverty is crucial and energy must be considered a basic social right. This package represents an important challenge but also an opportunity to consider consumers and their role in the energy market.

The round-table started with the intervention of Federico DE STEFANI, CEO of SITGroup, representing the European Heating Industry (EHI). As Mr. DE STEFANI stated, heating accounts for 40 % of the final energy consumption in the EU, mainly consumed to provide heating and hot water for buildings. Such a high level makes it a crucial sector in achieving the EU’s climate and energy goals. While minimal efficiency standards, such as the standards set by the “ecodesign directive”, usually apply to new appliances, much still needs to be done to accelerate the rate of modernization or replacement of appliances since 85 % of the market still relies on older appliances. Replacement rate is currently very low and should be increased by at least 25 %, in order to achieve EU targets. Many efficient technologies are available but heating system replacement is usually carried out with little anticipation, with the consumers replacing their heating system only when their previous appliance stops working. According to Mr. DE STEFANI, labeling installed appliances according to their level of efficiency may help consumers better anticipate and plan their transition to a new appliance. This system is used successfully in Germany and he feels that the upcoming review of the Energy Performance of Buildings directive should make such labelling compulsory throughout the EU. Smart heating technologies could also better inform the consumers on their maintenance. In order to finance the transition to these efficient technologies, he believes that investment into energy efficient renovations should be available in priority to the residential sector.

MEP Theresa Griffin then asked Sylvie PERRIN, Head of Project for EDF, to present the Smart Electric Lyon project. EDF, along with 21 industrial and research partners, launched this collaborative programme in 2012, to explore the possibilities given by Smart Grid technology. The project reached over 20 000 clients and it is to this date, the biggest technology demonstrator for Smart Grid in Europe. Mrs PERRIN explained that the programme focused on defining how smart communicating meters, such as the Linky meter provided by ENEDIS, can help consumers manage their energy consumption. Experiments were carried out with residential consumers, as well as industrial plants, and local authorities’ buildings. Today over 2 million smart meters have been installed. Consumers were given a comparative survey of their consumption and of the consumption of another household of the neighbourhood sharing similar characteristics. According to Sylvie PERRIN this simple comparison helped the consumer lower their energy consumption with an average of 0.9%. The programme also tested out different tariff policies: when given comprehensive details of their energy bill, consumers usually adapted their consumption to help reduce consumption peaks. For commercial buildings, Smart Electric Lyon provided energy management appliances leading to a drop in their final consumption from 15% to 50% for older buildings. Finally, energy efficiency refurbishment helped achieve major outcomes, especially in the social housing sector. Mrs PERRIN concluded her remarks by stating that consumers are beginning to ask for environmental friendly technologies and that this criterion is becoming, in some cases, as important as the cost factor.

Justin Wilkes, Deputy-Director, spoke on behalf of the European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardization (ECOS). ECOS represents 42 non-governmental organisations, working on a daily basis to promote environmental aspects within the standardisation system and ecodesign process.. Mr. Wilkes explained that a clear direction must be set at the top, by European institutions, in order to provide a stable long-term visibility for industry and consumers. This visibility can be achieved through the legislative regulatory framework, which must work as an incentive for the market to veer towards smart and eco-friendly technologies. He believes that energy efficiency targets set by the EU for 2030 can be more ambitious. Mr. Wilkes insisted on the necessity to design policies that are coherent from top to bottom and to put more focus on the enforcement of those policies and to market surveillance. ECOS welcomes the release by the Commission of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, which will be delivering more than 500 M€ savings per year on household energy bills.

Alain CAUCHY, Property Director for the SNI, briefly presented SNI, France’s first social landlord and a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts Group. SNI manages over 345 000 housing units in France, three quarters of which are social housing units, throughout the French territory. SNI first developed a global energy strategy plan in 2011. This plan is monitored regularly by assessing the average energy consumption of the property stock, as well as the average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Monitoring how energy efficiency impacts the cost of energy for the final beneficiaries is also important for SNI, since they provide housing mainly for low-income households. As a public housing operator, SNI does not rely on any return of investment when carrying out energy efficiency refurbishment. The savings achieved by reducing energy bills benefit entirely to the tenants. As Mr. CAUCHY explained, SNI improves energy efficiency mainly by refurbishing the existing housing stock, focusing primarily on building insulation (windows, roof…) then smart equipment and heating performance. Likewise, new constructions are designed to integrate existing thermal regulation, and often go beyond the minimal criteria set out by the regulations. Energy efficiency measures are financed through several instruments, such as the eco-loan provided by the Caisse des Dépôts. SNI is currently working with the EIB to launch quasi-equity loans for over 25 000 housing units.

Paul HODSON, Head of Unit “Energy Efficiency” in the DG Energy of the European Commission concluded this round-table. As he outlined, the target of 30% for energy efficiency by 2030 will have strong implications for the industry. Innovation in the industrial and energy sectors already helped improve energy efficiency. However some products, such as fridges have almost reached their full potential as far as energy efficiency goes. Creating new innovative products is one way of bettering energy efficiency but renovating existing products is also key in reaching the targets set by the Commission. This renovation effort will have a strong impact on the economy: it will help create new jobs, such as skilled maintenance workers. The renovation of buildings has already had a positive impact on energy efficiency, but it must be undertaken in the poorest areas. Mr. HODSON believes that this can be achieved by integrating energy renovation every time large scale intervention is carried out on buildings. As he explained, article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, which will be reinforced by the review proposed by the Commission in the “Clean Energy for all” package, is the driver for the speed of the renovation.

MEP Theresa GRIFFIN then turned to the audience for questions. Dr. Dario CHELLO, Head of office for ENEA (Italian national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development) asked the first question. He agreed with panelists that the “Clean Energy for all” package brings a new perspective by making the consumer a central actor of the energy market. He asked whether this new package would be implemented quickly, considering that the third energy package has not yet been transposed by every Member State. He further stated that the energy market must still overcome market failures and that consumers’ rights are not yet receiving all the attention they deserve. Paul HODSON, explained that the need for a quicker transposition was understood by the Parliament. Justin WILKES added that, although a few communications of the European Commission over the past years tried to put the consumers at the center of the energy regulation, he believes that the new proposals do allow more consideration for the consumer. Luca BERTALOT, Secretary General of the EMF-ECBC (European Mortgage Federation-European Covered Bond Council) explained that the EU must be ready to support the lending capacity of banks in order to enable them to help implement energy efficiency measures. Adrian JOYCE, Secretary General of EuroACE, intervened on the Smart Electric Project in Lyon: he asked for further information on the recruitment process for the households involved, and their level of commitment through the entire duration of the project. As Sylvie PERRIN, Head of the project explained, several waves of recruitment were conducted by sending a letter to potential participants. If they did not wish to participate, the household had to answer and if no answer was received they were included by default. The level of involvement was high but required close follow-up.

Minutes of the conference

Agenda of the conference

 Biographies of the speakers

List of participants

Presentation of the SNI Group

The energy transition for green growth – SNI Group’s commitments and initiatives

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Breakfast debate : How policy impacts growing companies

On December 10, MEP Burkhard Balz, Vice-Chair of the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament, hosted a breakfast debate on how policy impacts growing companies in partnership with Invest Europe and the Invest Week, in the presence of Frédéric Mazzella, co-founder and CEO of major European success story, carpooling service, BlaBlaCar, and David Rubenstein, world-renowned investor, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, as well as Members of the European Parliament, including Dominique Riquet, Chair of the intergroup, officials from the European Commission, and representatives of the industrial and the financial sector and of the civil society.

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Download the list of participants

Invest week2

Moderator:

Burkhard Balz MEP, Vice-Chair of the Long Term Investment Intergroup

Speakers:

David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group
Frédéric Mazzella, founder of BlaBlaCar
Dr. Bert Van Roosebeke, researcher from the Centre for European Policy

Michael Collins, CEO of Invest Europe, the association for private equity, venture capital and infrastructure investors

Alexander Schindler, President of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)

Niall Bohan, Head of Unit for the Capital Markets Union at the European Commission’s DG FISMA


World-renowned investor, David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, and Frédéric Mazzella, founder of a major European success story, the carpooling service BlaBlaCar, were special guests at this debate on Europe’s approach on how policy impacts Europe’s growing companies, hosted by Invest Europe and the European Parliament’s crossparty Long-Term Investment Intergroup. They discussed the issues with MEPs, including Burkhard Balz, Commission officials, companies and academics.

  • The EU urgently needs to address its long term investment funding gap, with alternative investment such as private equity and venture capital

  • The EU is suffering from a lack of funding for infrastructure, the energy transition and the scaling-up of start-ups.

  • Getting rid of regulatory barriers is a must to attract long term investment into the EU.

MEP Burkhard Balz opened by stressing that the EU urgently needs more private investment and to leverage finance to encourage start-up development. Building on this, Invest Europe CEO Michael Collins said that the US raises five times more than the EU does in venture capital and that it is important to make things easier for long term investors by getting rid of regulatory disincentives.

David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, said that “it would be helpful if Europe had rules that make it possible for global firms to raise capital in Europe”, citing issues with private placement in some member states. He added that it would be good for Europe if it were easier to raise capital, invest capital and deliver returns to investors. Whilst conceding that “this is not easy to do”, he concluded that if this could be achieved, Europe “would be an even more significant economy in the 21st century”.

For Frédéric Mazzella, founder of the carpooling service BlaBlaCar, “growing a company in the US is like a 100 metre race while in Europe it is like running the 110 metres hurdles race” as “you have to adapt your business to different rules – different VAT, different currencies, different languages”. “Each time it is like creating a new company. I’m in favour of a more unified regulatory environment especially for digital companies that need to reach scale fast. Adapting a product to 28 markets slows us down,” he said.

Alexander Schindler, President of the European Fund and Asset Management Association, argued that Europe urgently needs to harmonise its regulatory environment and its capital markets. He cited the different information requirements of national authorities as a difficulty to be surmounted and the importance of financial education of its citizens.

Niall Bohan, the Head of Unit for the Capital Markets Union at the European Commission’s DG FISMA, said that “funding long term investment is becoming an existential crisis”. He said Europe has an “Achilles heel” in terms of meeting the demand for capital to scale up and expand small companies, which create two thirds of jobs in the EU, and referenced the Commission’s drive to create a venture capital fund of funds to draw private capital back into Europe.

Dinner Debate : ESG criteria and the Capital Markets Union

On November 9, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament held a dinner debate on ESG criteria in the context of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) in the presence of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), officials from the European Commission, and representatives of the industrial and the financial sector and of the civil society.

Download the minutes

ESG dinner debate November 9

Agenda

Biographies of the speakers

Anne-Catherine Husson-Traoré, Novethic “Measuring the impact of ESG factors on investment decisions and for the green transition”