World

EU countries urged to quickly contribute to investment fund as mid-2015 launch date targeted

  • President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker combs his hair as a joke for photographers Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi reviewed the outgoing EU presidency. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)

    President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker combs his hair as a joke for photographers Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi reviewed the outgoing EU presidency. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi delivers a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015. Renzi reviewed the outgoing EU presidency. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi delivers a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015. Renzi reviewed the outgoing EU presidency. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attends the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015. Renzi reviewed the outgoing EU presidency. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attends the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015. Renzi reviewed the outgoing EU presidency. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)  (The Associated Press)

The top official behind a proposed 315 billion euro ($371 billion) European Union investment plan wants member states to contribute more money to get the continent's flagging economy back on the upswing.

The fund is meant to reduce the risks of investment for private investors and encourage them to spend on strategic projects like broadband Internet, energy networks or small companies.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told EU legislators Tuesday he would like individual countries "to participate in great numbers by giving impetus to the investment plan, by financing it."

The Commission, the EU executive, is urging a fast-track legal approval of the fund so it can start working by June to help kick-start growth and create jobs.