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Wise Persons: Europe needs a dedicated development bank

EIB President Werner Hoyer addressed the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), composed of the economics and finance ministers from all member states, following the conclusions of the Wise Persons Group assessment on current European financial architecture for development.

President Hoyer explained the key role that the EIB can play to address global challenges and strengthen Europe’s development finance efficiency. He acknowledged the call from the Wise Persons Group to better organise and streamline EU development financing.

As a response to this call, President Hoyer presented the EU Bank’s proposal to create a new development subsidiary within the EIB, the European Bank for Sustainable Development (EBSD), to quickly address the most pressing gaps and improve the EU development finance architecture.

The EBSD would build on the EIB’s development competence acquired over the past 50 years in more than 140 countries, and would benefit from the EU Bank’s increasing arsenal of financing instruments and technical expertise to support private sector development in fragile economies.

Finally, he stressed the need to involve even more the European Commission, EEAS, Member States and their bilateral institutions and development agencies in the governance of operations outside the EU.

‘In doing so, we need to bring EU development policy even closer to the EU bank. The EBSD proposal entails just that!’, he concluded.

Background information

The Wise Persons Group was tasked to provide an independent assessment and evaluate challenges and opportunities linked to the rationalisation of the European financial architecture for development. It assessed in particular the respective roles of the EIB and of the EBRD. The purpose of the report was to propose scenarios enabling to avoid duplication of existing activities and to encourage opportunities for further cooperation among development actors, such as national development financial institutions and agencies, and international and multilateral institutional bodies, such as the Council of Europe Development Bank or the World Bank.