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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Burkhard Balz MEP, Vice-Chair of the Long Term Investment Intergroup
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.
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.
On November 23, 2016, a delegation from the European Long Term Investors Association (ELTI), the French Caisse des Dépôts, the German KfW, the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Slovenian SID Bank, the European Investment Bank and the French development agency AFD met with several MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg to share their experiences and engage in the discussions around the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the launch of the External Investment Plan, designed to encourage investments in Africa and in the EU Neighbourhood region.
On October 20, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament held a lunch-debate on the topic of energy renovation as a long-term viable investment for the EU in the presence of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), officials from the European Commission, and representatives of the industrial and the financial sector.
Transport infrastructure projects must be well prepared, with a clear socio-economic return
BRUSSELS – 13 October 2016 – In order for transport infrastructure projects to be successful in the future, a number of improvements need to occur, according to the partners taking part in the European Parliament’s long-term investment intergroup conference.
In an exchange of views at the conference which took place today and focussed on the transport infrastructure pipeline in Europe, the partners agreed that project preparation must be improved, and that the visibility of the projects should be increased via project portals.
The discussion revealed where the existing project preparation practices may be improved, in tune with the emphasis that the World Bank, IMF and MDBs placed on this topic during the annual meetings in Washington, DC last week (IISS Project Assessment Tool). Investment portals should afford a greater visibility of infrastructure projects and the investment environment should benefit from more transparent rules. Available resources should be deployed prioritizing infrastructure developments that create jobs and growth.
Dominique Riquet, President of the Intergroup, said “A good transport project should: be useful from the infrastructure point of view, provide a quality service, fundable by all the parties, generate fair revenues and improve competitiveness of the concerned area.”
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said that “the objective of the Commission’s Investment Plan is to boost project pipeline, to attract private investors, and to remove barriers for investments. A good transportation project must generate revenues, but also demonstrate a social and economic value as well as a firm political will to contribute to decarbonisation.”
Olav Jones, deputy director general of Insurance Europe, said: “As the largest institutional investors, Europe’s insurers welcome the significant political focus placed over the past two years on infrastructure investment. In particular, the industry welcomed initiatives to increase the supply of suitable infrastructure assets, and supported work by policymakers to address regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment, such as its treatment under Solvency II. Insurance Europe hopes that these policy efforts will continue in a positive direction for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.”
Eugene Zhuchenko, Executive Director of the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association, said “Private investors are looking for a deeper pipeline of infrastructure projects in Europe. We welcome contributions from today’s dialogue to setting better project definition standards, building sponsor’s capacity to develop new projects and implementing frameworks that crowd in more of the private capital”
Marie-Laure Mazaud, Executive Director in charge of Transportation Sector & Development at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), pointed out that “the recent transposition of the new EU directives on public procurement and concessions in the French regulation constitutes a particularly rich and complete toolbox allowing the local authorities to fund their investment projects in optimal conditions, including PPPs. This framework offers all the guarantees and ingredients necessary to implement win-win projects for both the public and the private sectors, while financial resources have never been more abundant and attractive. CDC will support this trend and mobilize its engineering expertise to structure and finance such projects through equity investments and loans”.
Jean-Louis Marchand, FIEC President, concluded “The Investment Plan for Europe needs to reach the regions if we want it to be successful. For this purpose, the visibility of infrastructure projects at the regional scale should be strengthened. The creation of portals of regional projects, that could be part of the European investment project portal (EIPP), can be a response to these needs.”
The Intergroup is designed to support and promote the issue of long-term investment in perspective of future legislative work. Its creation followed a campaign conducted by organizations from the public and private financial spheres and contributors to the real economy. Three major national promotional banks and institutions, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Group Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and KfW Bankengruppe, have played a particularly active role. The intergroup is chaired by Dominique Riquet (ALDE-FR), Simona Bonafé (S&D-IT), Adina-Ioana Valean (PPE-RO) and Burkhard Balz (PPE-DE). Currently, the Intergroup has reached 80 members has received the support of some 50 professional federations and stakeholders.
About the partners:
FIEC is the European Construction Industry Federation, representing via its 29 National Member Federations in 26 countries (23 EU & EFTA and Turkey) construction enterprises of all sizes, i.e. small and medium-sized enterprises as well as “global players”, carrying out all forms of building and civil engineering activities.
Founded in 2014, the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA) gathers investors that collectively manage in excess of 5 trillion dollars of assets and that include some of the most active investors globally in the field of long term investment in infrastructure. The Association’s three key priorities at the core of its action: (i) proactive engagement with public stakeholders to support attractive investment frameworks, (ii) development of financial performance benchmarks, and (iii) definition and sharing of best practices in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance issues. See www.ltiia.org for more information.
Insurance Europe is the European insurance and reinsurance federation. Through its 34 member bodies — the national insurance associations — Insurance Europe represents all types of insurance and reinsurance undertakings, eg pan-European companies, monoliners, mutuals and SMEs. Insurance Europe, which is based in Brussels, represents undertakings that account for around 95% of total European premium income. Insurance makes a major contribution to Europe’s economic growth and development. European insurers generate premium income of €1 200bn, directly employ over 975 000 people and invest nearly €9 800bn in the economy.
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) is designated by the French law as a long-term investor and a public group dedicated to promoting the general interest and the national economic development. With a balance sheet of €156bn, the Caisse des Dépôts Group provides in particular financial support for infrastructures projects and, through its subsidiary Bpifrance, to enterprises. CDC also manages assets on behalf of the French State, notably the savings funds for €260bn. For almost 200 years, it has never failed in its mission, whatever the economic situation, thanks to proven know-how: an excellent awareness of local issues, a capacity to construct links between the public and private sectors, to create innovative solutions which respond to collective needs. At European level, CDC is one of the core sponsors of the Marguerite Fund, which provides financing to projects in the field of energy and transport infrastructures as well as renewable energy and fight against climate change.