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    Chronology of the EIB: 1958-2020


    2018 – present: Responding to the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic

    The European Investment Bank has been the EU’s climate bank for a long time. In recent years, the EIB’s mission has focused on responses to major crises – climate being a key focus. Our climate strategy defines our mission: to play a leading role in mobilising the finance needed to achieve the worldwide commitment to keep global warming well below 2˚C, aiming for 1.5˚C. Since 2012, the EIB has provided €170 billion of finance supporting over €600 billion of investment in projects that reduce emissions and help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

    The EIB Group is also set to play a key role in the fight against the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Investment Bank backed the creation of a €25 billion European COVID-19 guarantee fund. The fund will enable the EIB Group to scale up its support for European companies up to an additional €200 billion – with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

    2008-2017: Against the economic cycle: Big support for small businesses

    The Investment Plan for Europe aims to make this a decade in which small and medium-sized businesses and innovative technologies find financial backing that might previously have been denied. A special capital increase allowed us to raise our support to the economic recovery and have considerable impact on the lives of citizens.

    1998-2007: Responsible finance for the planet… and beyond

    In 2007 the EIB issued the world’s first Green Bonds. Its mission? Raise more money to fight climate change, by financing projects in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. We also supported big science innovations, such as the final phase of construction of the large hadron collider at CERN, aimed at reproducing the conditions that existed at the beginning of the Big Bang.

    1988-1997: Revitalising our cities, investing far away

    Urban regeneration projects were a focus for EIB operations during these years, when the Bank started to provide financing to Eastern European countries after the fall of the Berlin wall. A decade of firsts: first operations in euros, first investments in Gaza/West Bank, first activities in South Africa.

    1978-1987: Connecting Europe

    Financing innovative European companies as well as strategic infrastructure that can connect the common European market has been a goal since EIB’s inception. During these years, the Bank moved to its new Luxembourg headquarters in Kirchberg, and issued its first operation in ecus.

    1968-1977: New home and first external offices

    In 1968 the European Investment Bank moved its headquarters from Brussels to Luxembourg. The first external offices were also inaugurated, starting with Brussels and Rome. The Bank focused mainly on financing strategic infrastructure, as well as on supporting the European industry in response to the energy crisis.

    1958-1967: A bank for the new Europe, a bank for the world

    Amid the splendour of Michelangelo’s architectural innovations, six European countries signed the Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Investment Bank in 1958. Four years after its inception, the Bank was authorised to finance projects also outside the European Community. This marked the beginning of the extension of EIB’s activities around the globe.