A year ago, The European Long Term Investors Association (ELTI asked former President of the European Commission and Primer Minister of Italy Romano Prodi to chair a High-Level Task-Force bringing together highly experienced persons from different backgrounds (former minister, trade-unionist, economists, representatives from public companies …) to scrutinize investments in Social Infrastructure in Europe and to find ways to enhance them. This initiative underlining the need for additional investments in health, education and affordable housing, received a strong and immediate support from European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen. Several experts have analysed future developments against the current situation.
On January 23, the main findings of the report were presented at the European Commission premises. Proposals articulate in different timeline horizons (short, mid-term and long -term) and around three main ideas :
- « Labelling » National and European institutions could grant labels to projects according to social efficiency criteria. These labels could facilitate identification and, in turn, the financing of these projects.
- « Bundling » projects. As most projects are small-scale projects, requiring a limited amount of investment, bringing them together could reduce the fixed costs and favour their dissemination.
- « Blending » financing. In the current state of the economy, financing for these projects cannot come from one single body. Mixing public and private financing and/or using social impact bonds, could facilitate the access of Social Infrastructure to financing, while maintaining their unique benefits for the community.