UN Holds “SDG Moment”

The COVID-19 pandemic is still holding the world under its spell. Inequalities are worsening worldwide and putting many achievements of recent years in danger.  The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are key in the struggle for amelioration. Today, Friday 18 September, marks an important day in this struggle. The first ever annual ‘SDG Moment’ has been held, setting…

Europe Needs Housing Action Plan

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has sounded the alarm and called for an urgent European housing action plan, stressing that an EU strategy is essential to ensure universal access to decent, sustainable and affordable housing in the future. Decent and affordable housing is running short in the EU and, for this reason, a…

EU China Strategy

In a new review, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) looks at the multiple risks – mainly of an economic and political nature – China’s state-driven investment strategy poses to the EU, as well as the opportunities it presents. The auditors warn the EU faces several challenges in managing its response, including how to better…

Importance of a Diversified Banking System for Europe

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) points out that a strong, diversified banking system with regional and community banks is essential for Europe’s future, stressing that European banks will play a key role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. The EU’s Banking Union has to be in line with the social inclusion and sustainable development…

Rail Investment in the Kraków-Zakopane corridor

The European Commission has approved an investment of over €234 million from the  cohesion fund to upgrade almost 117km of the Skawina-Zakopane railway line in Southern Poland.  The project will improve the quality, efficiency and safety of railway transport between the towns of Skawina and Zakopane, and more generally on the Kraków-Zakopane corridor. Commissioner for…

Incentives for Private Investments

Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi recently signed a €70.2 million assistance programme for Serbia. The Commission says it is aiming to kick-start the EU economy by incentivising private investments.  The Commission has proposed a new Solvency Support Instrument, which builds on the existing European Fund for Strategic Investments, to mobilise private resources to urgently support viable European companies…

The Importance of Rule of Law for Investors

I met with Philippe Bresson to explore his experience of investing in Eastern Europe. Philippe manages the BEE Family Office, formerly BRICOSTORE Holding, a 160-year-old family-owned holding company that manages a variety of assets and holdings in various business sectors. It was originally focused on the retail sector in France and internationally.  In the late…

Micro-Finance for SMEs

In order to stimulate small business financing in the Baltic States, non-bank business lender Noviti Finance, and the European Investment Fund (EIF), have signed a cooperation agreement to give micro businesses and farmers better access to funding of up to €25,000.  The guarantee is funded by the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) programme of the…

Modernisation of Grupo Ruiz

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to finance the modernisation of Grupo Ruiz’s bus fleet by facilitating €27.5 million for the introduction of 173 safer, less polluting and more modern vehicles.  EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Grupo Ruiz CEO Gregorio Ruiz signed the agreement in Madrid. The project is supported by the European Fund…