Who can implement InvestEU advisory initiatives?
The European Commission, implementing the InvestEU Advisory Hub, selects its advisory partners among National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs), International Financial Institutions (IFIs), executive agencies or external service providers (e.g. consultancy companies, sectoral associations) active within the EU to implement one or several advisory initiatives.
The first Call for Expression of Interest for the InvestEU Advisory Hub to select advisory partners was published on 30 April 2021. Applicants could apply by 30 June and 1 October 2021. Six advisory partners have been selected after the first call and are negotiating their advisory agreements with the European Commission. When selecting advisory partners, the Commission evaluates:
- the experience and ability of the advisory partners to implement advisory initiatives;
- the quality and plausibility of the implementation of the proposed advisory initiatives; and
- the extent to which the advisory partner:
- covers the objectives of the InvestEU programme;
- demonstrates the impact of the advisory proposal in terms of creating an investable pipeline of InvestEU projects;
- is able to expand and enhance the expertise in particular sectors and regions of one or more Member States to support the development of a robust pipeline of investment projects;
- is able to demonstrate the additionality of the proposed advisory initiatives in relation to other existing EU advisory programmes at the local level or to other advisory activities deployed by advisory partners outside the InvestEU Advisory Hub;
- the contribution of the advisory partners covers the eligible costs for the implementation of the respective advisory initiative(s)
To conclude an agreement directly with the Commission, advisory partners must have already successfully completed the pillar assessment process applicable to all InvestEU partners or be in the process of passing it. This particularly applies for the delegation of the management of grants (indirect management) and to the use of external service providers (through procurement). Pillar assessed InvestEU advisory partners could use their own staff or external service providers to provide advisory support services.
Alternatively, subject to the agreement of the EIB Group and as part of a combined request with the Commission, potential advisory partners who do not wish to undergo the pillar assessment process can opt to sign an agreement with the European Investment Bank Group, acting on behalf of the Commission, to implement one or more advisory initiatives.
For advisory initiatives that cannot be served by the InvestEU advisory partners, the InvestEU Advisory Hub can also use external service providers. The Commission will select such providers through an open procedure to sign specific framework contracts for the provision of their services.