Europe’s Finance Ministers today welcomed the proposal for the European Investment Bank Group to manage the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) within the EIB under the Investment Plan for Europe announced last November. The fund, backed by the EU Bank and the European Commission, is intended to support EUR 315 billion of new investment across Europe over the next three years.
The extraordinary meeting of the EIB’s Board of Governors recognised the significant role of Europe’s long-term lending institution in supporting crucial investment during the crisis. Dr Werner Hoyer, EIB Group President, announced that overall EIB lending activity in 2014 amounted to nearly EUR 77 billion, with an additional EUR 3.3 billion granted by the European Investment Fund (EIF) to SMEs.
President Hoyer also reported that the EU Bank will reach its target for additional lending under the capital increase granted to the EU Bank by the Member States for the period 2013-2015 in the spring of this year, over six months earlier than anticipated. In addition to its regular lending activity, the EUR 10 billion capital increase will allow the EU Bank to finance projects worth around EUR 180 billion in total, well in advance of the end-of-the-year deadline.
“Investment in Europe continues to face unprecedented challenges. The new Investment Plan builds upon the EIB’s unique lending and advisory experience, and has the potential to mobilise private investment crucial for Europe’s competitiveness” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance of the Netherlands and Chairman of the EIB’s Board of Governors.
“The EU Bank has worked closely with its shareholders, the 28 EU Member States, to make a strong contribution towards dealing with the worst economic and financial crisis in a generation. We have delivered on our commitments. In partnership with the EU Member States and the EU Commission, we can successfully tackle the current market failure in risk bearing and get investment going again in Europe. We take heart from the confidence expressed by the Board of Governors in the EU Bank. Making Europe competitive again in the globalised economy requires a joint effort. Structural reforms and regulatory simplification are as important as the new fund. The EU Bank is ready to play its part, and will now concentrate on launching the first projects under the Investment Plan already in the coming months,” said President Hoyer.
The EIB’s Board of Governors comprises ministers (usually Finance Ministers) designated by each of the 28 EU Member States, which are the shareholders of the Bank. It provides strategic guidance, approves the annual accounts and appoints the members of the Board of Directors, the Management Committee and the Audit Committee.
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