Germany and France represented by Christian Lindner, Federal Minister of Finance, Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Bruno Le Maire, Minister for the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, and Cédric O, Minister of State for the Digital Transition and Electronic Communication, have signed, together with Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Finland, Sweden, and with the support of Bulgaria and Slovenia, a joint declaration on the financing of scale-up and tech champions with the aim of creating a €10-billion pan-European Scale-Up Initiative. France and Germany intend to commit €1 billion each as an initial pledge to get the initiative rolling.
To keep up with the technological race and to foster innovation, the European Union must strengthen its ecosystem for start-ups and scale-ups, which are crucial for the digital and sustainable transformation of our economies. The lack of European financing is slowing the growth not only of our startups and tech ecosystem across Europe, but also of the European economy as a whole.
To this end, France and Germany, together with 16 other EU Member States, are committed to implementing a pan-European Scale-up Initiative to develop European funds in the late-stage segment. The initiative’s aim is to mobilise more private capital from European long-term financial investors to strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy in a sustainable way as an important part of the Capital Markets Union.
The objective is to set up a €10-billion initiative enabling the creation of 10 to 20 pan-European funds of over €1 billion each. The key element of this pan European Scale-up Initiative will be a fund of funds called the European Tech Champions Initiative (ETCI) managed and administered under a mandate by the European Investment Fund (EIF), a subsidiary of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB Group has extensive expertise in supporting the financing of the EU ecosystem, especially by providing financing towards final beneficiaries and funds. France and Germany intend to commit €1 billion each as an initial pledge for the ETCI. Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden fully support the initiative and will clarify their engagement in the coming weeks.
The Ministers agreed on the need to convene quickly at the technical level to specify the ETCI mandate that will be given to the EIF in the framework of a working group that will meet very soon.
Christian Lindner stated: “Start-ups and scale-ups are essential for innovation, growth and job creation. Together with our European partners we will leverage public funds to attract more private capital into this sector, especially at the stage when start-ups mature, and hereby strengthen the innovative potential of Europe’s venture capital ecosystem. Better conditions and the right incentives here will bring dynamism to the entire economy. Because now is the time to set the course for a digital and sustainable transition from crisis mode to focussing on growth.
Robert Habeck declared: “We are sending an important signal today. We want our innovative start-ups to have the opportunities to grow – from their EU homebase – into global market leaders. We are making available a boost of one billion euros from the German Future Fund to the European Tech Champions Initiative, thus mobilizing even more private capital for growth financing in Europe.”
Bruno Le Maire declared: “Today, we reaffirm our ambition to speed-up the rise of future EU tech leaders. As such, the pan European Scale-up Initiative will be one step further to enhance EU sovereignty and pave the way to Europe's economic, social and environmental future. The EIB Group’s participation is also an essential pillar for the success of this initiative.”
Cédric O stated: “This initiative will support the unprecedented boom of the European Tech ecosystem to keep up with the global technological race. The development of pan European funds in the late-stage segment is absolutely key in that perspective.”