The EIB is the European Union’s bank. It´s the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, it provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of our activity is focused on Europe but it also implements the financial aspects of the EU’s external and development policies.
Its role is: Lending, blending and advising.
- Lending: The vast majority of our financing is through loans, but it also offers guarantees, microfinance, equity investment, etc.
- Blending: It supports helps them unlock financing from other sources, particularly from the EU budget. This is blended together to form the full financing package.
- Advising: Lack of finance is often only one barrier to investment. It can helps with administrative and project management capacity which facilitates investment implementation.
The EIB supports projects that make a significant contribution to growth, employment, economic and social cohesion and environmental sustainability in Europe and beyond. its priorities, as defined in our Operational Plan, are:
- Supporting the creators of 80% of new jobs (small and medium sized enterprises SMEs)
- Addressing economic and social imbalances between the regions (cohesion)
- Protecting and improving the natural and urban environment (environmental sustainability)
- Promoting innovation through investment in ICT and human and social capital (innovation)
- Linking regional and national infrastructure of transport and energy (Trans-European Networks)
- Supporting a competitive and secure energy supply (sustainable energy)
EIB raises the bulk of our lending resources on the international capital markets through bond issues. Its excellent rating allows us to borrow at advantageous rates. EIB thus is able to offer good terms to its clients.
Combatting the crisis
In 2012, its shareholders (the EU Member States) decided to increase its capital by EUR 10 bn. This boosted EIB stability and allowed it to plan for EUR 60bn additional lending between 2013 and 2015. Previously, when the financial crisis erupted in 2008, the EU asked EIB to offset falling investment. This led to a more-than one-third increase in the total value of on-going, outstanding loans by 2011.
As well as its lending operations, IEB also helps one-off schemes to address specific challenges. In 2008/9 many corporate clients approached it for the first time to access the RSFF scheme which supports research, development and innovation (RDI). IEB also make special funding available to enhance private investment capacity for RDI into energy efficiency and emissions reduction in the automotive, rail, aviation and shipping industries. EIB work with the European Commission to use EU funds to support special programmes to help countries hard-hit during the crisis.