Framing the European Fund for Strategic Investments: A Comparative Analysis of the EU's Institutional Discourse

Andreas Amerkamp*, Paul Stephenson

*Corresponding author for this work

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2 Citations (Web of Science)


In 2014, newly elected Commission President Juncker pushed to create the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the aim of creating jobs and stimulating growth. With guarantees offered by the fund and the involvement of the European Investment Bank, the plan was to use (sic)21 billion to leverage (sic)315 billion of investment in the European economy. The EFSI legislative process was very fast with legislation emerging in just a year, with the first EFSI regulation appearing in mid-2015. Using policy frame analysis, this article zooms in on the discursive patterns of the European Commission, European Parliament and Council, expecting to find transport infrastructure a key theme given the low investment levels in this sector after the financial crisis in 2008. Analysing key documents at two periods in time, and drawing on interviews with officials, it explores the arguments used to make the case for EFSI and how these changes over time, leading to the extension of EFSI through an amended regulation in December 2017. In so doing, it shows the strategic positions of the institutions during Agenda-setting for EFSI. Moreover, the article explores questions of legitimacy and accountability. It reveals how key events including the Paris Agreement on climate change (December 2015) and Brexit referendum (June 2016) increased the persuasiveness of its framing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-363
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020


  • Framing analysis
  • European Fund for Strategic Investment
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Trans-European Networks
  • Infrastructure investment
  • European Structural and Investment Fund

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