InvestEU & Other Funds

It is the challenge of public health policy makers and health promotion managers to develop investable proposals for improving health equity through accessing InvestEU and other investment funds. This e-guide provides initial ideas, contacts and tools on how that can be done.


InvestEU was originally announced in 2018 as the successor to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI, or the ‘Juncker Plan’), which provided an EU budget guarantee to support investment and access to finance in the EU. InvestEU will bring together the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the 13 EU financial instruments that are currently available (2014-2020). InvestEU's suggested benefits are simplified and streamlined investment support and a single set of rules and procedures with one point of contact for advice. The main aim is to make EU funding simpler to access and more effective. InvestEU will run from 2021-2027.


InvestEU consists of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub, the InvestEU Portal, and blending operations. It will mobilise public and private investment through an EU budget guarantee of €75 billion that will back the investment projects of financial partners such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, national promotional banks and other private finance institutions, thereby increasing their risk-bearing capacity, achieving the economies of scale, and increasing the visibility of EU action.

What is InvestEU?

The InvestEU Programme aims to give an additional boost to investment, innovation, and job creation in Europe. New is the Social Investment and Skills window of InvestEU which shall facilitate projects implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights. In particular, actions under this window shall aim at upwards convergence, reducing inequalities, and increasing resilience and inclusiveness through promoting employment, social enterprises, social inclusion, improving citizens' health, well-being and overall quality of life and supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy.

The InvestEU Fund investments will come under five policy areas which represent important policy priorities for the Union and bring high EU added value. The first four windows and their budget guarantees are:

  1. Sustainable infrastructure - €20 billion
  2. Research, innovation and digitisation - €10 billion
  3. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps - €10 billion
  4. Social investment and skills - €3.6 billion (further described below)

A fifth window – Strategic European Investment – has been added since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The budget guarantee for this window is €31 billion.


The InvestEU Advisory Hub will provide technical support and assistance for the preparation, development, structuring and implementation of financed projects, including capacity building.

The InvestEU Portal will bring together investments and project promoters through an easily-accessible and user-friendly database.


InvestEU’s public guarantee is intended to help secure further investment from private and institutional investors The idea is that investors feel more secure in investing with the knowledge that money has been guaranteed to repay them if necessary. The guarantee will be provisioned at an average of 45%, meaning that €34 billion of the EU budget is set aside in case calls are made on the guarantee. InvestEU will also offer blending operations with grant funding. This blending will ensure complementarity with other EU funding programmes, notably for the European Structural Investment Funds under shared management or covered by the EU ETS Innovation Fund.  InvestEU Fund will be a market-based and demand-driven instrument. However, it will also be policy-focused. As a policy tool, by diversifying the sources of funding and promoting long term and sustainable finance, InvestEU will contribute to the strengthening of the Single Market while also contributing to the implementation of the European Green Deal, the European Green Deal Investment Plan, the Strategy on shaping Europe’s digital future, and the European Pillar of Social Rights. Financing and investment operations shall be screened to determine whether they have an environmental, climate or social impact.

A key element of InvestEU – and a new addition in comparison to EFSI – is the dedicated Social Investment and Skills policy window. Support under the Social Investment and Skills window will facilitate financing of projects that strengthen the social dimension of the European Union (e.g., as described in the European Pillar of Social Rights). In particular, actions under this window shall aim at upwards convergence, reducing inequalities (including gender), and increasing resilience and inclusiveness through promoting employment including entrepreneurship and self-employment, social enterprises and social economy and innovation, social inclusion, improving citizens' health, well-being and overall quality of life and supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy.


The window will target investments in social enterprises, microfinance, training, social housing, social innovation, integration of migrants, and other sectors within the social sphere. Projects may target education, training, and health and long-term care, amongst other related themes. The window will have a special emphasis on inclusion of vulnerable people and their access to quality services. Where applicable and possible, supported services will be delivered at the local level, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ approach of moving from institutional care to community-based care.


The window will particularly target projects with a reasonable degree of (prospective) financial viability but which are not (sufficiently) delivered by the market due to higher risks, lack of collateral, not achieving optimal scale without public sector support or other market barriers. The supported projects should add additionality (e.g., not crowd out market-based offerings of the targeted social services). Given that many social sector projects are too small to attract interest from traditional private investors, grouping or ‘bundling’ of smaller projects will be encouraged. For example, bundling healthcare reforms occurring in different locations under the jurisdiction of a national or regional authority.


Organisations within EU member states are available to apply for the funding via their national managing authority and can receive technical assistance through the InvestEU Advisory Hub. In addition to financial products provided by traditional financial intermediaries, providing in-kind services may also qualify organisations, such as education institutions, or health and social care providers, to benefit indirectly from the EU guarantee through an implementing partner. Combination with contributions from donors, philanthropists, foundations and other private sector actors will also be allowed.


The InvestEU Fund shall seek to strengthen private sector engagement to help deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights, supporting, inter alia, quality employment, education and training, health, social inclusion and active participation in society. InvestEU operations will support projects from private sector organisations active in the social investment space (or who could directly benefit from social investment). Such organisations include, among others, SMEs, large corporations, cooperatives, foundations, venture philanthropists, social impact investors, education and training institutions. Private sector actors will also have the possibility to contribute to the InvestEU Fund either through direct contributions (donations, repayable and non-repayable forms of support) for increasing the provisioning of the EU guarantee or through contributions to and/or co-investments into the projects or financial intermediaries supported indirectly by the InvestEU Fund.


For more information about InvestEU and the Social Infrastructure and Skills window, please click here.

Available funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has an enormous impact on health and wellbeing of communities, has led to over-stretched health services and has serious consequences for our economies. The European Union has responded by making funding and financing available to mitigate direct and indirect impacts of the crisis. Here, we provide a quick overview of available funding and financing on the EU level, some of which may be available for strengthening health promoting services.


Click here for an overview of:

  • Emergency funds
  • Temporary Funds
  • Other initiatives for recovery investments

The EU Multiannual Financial Framework

The current EU long term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), will come to an end in 2020. Negotiations regarding the new MFF for the period 2021-2027 are under way. An overview and analysis of the latest MFF proposals will be added to this e-guide in the Summer of 2020.



In response to the current COVID-19 situation, the European Commission updated the MFF proposals from 2018 and proposed a new stand-alone EU Health ProgrammeEU4Health. The new much enlarged programme (compared to the previously proposed Health Strand under the ESF+) will contain two main strands:

  • Health security: a boost to EU’s preparedness for major cross-border health threats and crisis response and recovery, reinforcing national systems and strengthening of the role of the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC);
  • Resilience of health systems: supporting member states’ efforts in long-term improvements for health outcomes via a One Health approach including health promotion, disease prevention, surveillance, noncommunicable diseases, access, diagnosis and treatments, challenges of an ageing population and inequalities in health status.

The total allocated is €9.4 billion (2021-2027), with large proportion “front loaded” to be spent as soon as in the first 4 years in a context of post-pandemic recovery plans. €7.7 billion funding will come from the NewGeneration EU recovery borrowing measures, while up to €1.7 billion will come from the MFF budgetary scheme.