The board of the European Investment Bank today approved nearly EUR 7 billion of new loans expected to support investment in strategic energy, key roads, broadband, flood protection, university expansion and reforestation, as well as initiatives to enhance access to finance by small businesses across Europe and around the world.
Meeting at the EIB’s headquarters in Luxembourg, representatives of the EIB’s shareholders, the 28 EU member states and the European Commission, also discussed the EIB’s emergency response to the refugee crisis.
Reflecting the unique focus to support investment across Europe and around the world, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, more than EUR 1 billion of the projects approved are outside the European Union.
New support for SME investment included approval in principle for a new export funding platform expected to operate in 8 European countries, backing for mid-cap lending in the Baltic region, support for equipment leasing in Poland and targeted finance to help young farmers in Italy to modernise, expand or start farm based activities.Proposals for new EIB lending to back strategic infrastructure investment included expansion of regional broadband networks in France, improving natural gas distribution in Spain, upgrading the road link between Armenia and Georgia, and supporting flood protection in Ireland.
Reflecting the commitment of Europe’s long-term lending institution to strengthen skills and innovation, new loans to support research activity in Germany, Ireland, France and Turkey were also approved.
Five of the 34 projects approved by the EIB Board are ready to be supported by the EIB under the European Fund for Strategic Investment. These include the first broadband infrastructure projects under this initiative, that are set to bring high-speed broadband services to remote areas, as well as offshore wind, energy efficiency and transport projects.
All projects, including those earmarked for support under the EFSI guarantee, need to receive approval of the EIB Board prior to loan contracts being finalised.
Courtesy of the European Investment Bank