"An investment gap is a reality in many parts of our continent. With local and regional authorities being responsible for more than half of the public investment, obstacles often have their roots but also their solutions in cities and regions" argued Hudak.
"The role of the European Investment Bank is to empower you and give you the chance to have an impact, both through the increase of lending volumes and by providing better advice when drawing up projects."
In his intervention, Markus Töns reminded that "the fact that investment in Europe has declined by a total of 15% as a consequence of the financial and economic crisis, and that the overall level of investment in the EU as a whole is lower than before the crisis, are due to a banking crisis, which is due to deregulation and to neoliberal thinking.
"At the same time, the decline in public investment has also been aggravated by European and national budgetary regulation mechanisms", he added.
"For this reason, we as European Socialists urge that for public investments co-financed under the European Structural Funds, the same rules as for the European Fund for Strategic Investment Fund (EFSI) apply. They should thus be excluded from the Stability and Growth Pact calculations."
He went on expressing the Groups' concerns about the current functioning of the EFSI: "The experiences with the investment fund are rather disappointing in many Member States, both regarding the cooperation with national funding banks and the setting-up of investment platforms, in particular when it comes to funding smaller projects as well as innovative and risky long-term investments."
He also called for a new European approach to the public debt. "We need to increase public investment, especially in sectors such as energy, technology and social integration including for refugees, if we want to make our cities and regions fit for the future and pave the way for a sustainable economic model for the coming generations."
"And the good news is that, according to a recent study by the Bertelsmann-Foundation, increasing public investment would trigger a GDP increase and thereby reduce the level of public debt at least in Germany" concluded Markus Töns.