Dilapidated bridges are closed. Citizens in rural areas wait to no avail for fast Internet. Wind farms in the North Sea can’t deliver electricity to southern Germany for lack of power-lines.
Infrastructure has much catching up to do – not only in Germany, but also throughout Europe. But there’s not enough money to build all the needed roads, railways, electrical lines and optical-fiber networks. In many places, public treasuries are empty, and private investors mostly don’t want to get involved in such big projects.
The European Commission hopes to change that and has set its sights on the huge amount of money held by insurance companies and pension funds.
The European Union’s executive arm in Brussels estimates these institutional investors manage €10 billion, or about $11.2 billion. It believes some of these resources could be “rerouted” – by making infrastructure investments more attractive.