The EIB's Board of Governors has unanimously appointed Philippe Maystadt as President of the EIB and Chairman of its Board of Directors. Mr Maystadt will take office on 1 January 2000.

Philippe Maystadt's career has included various key posts within the Belgian Government over a period spanning almost twenty years. As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Foreign Trade from 1996 to 1998 and Minister of Finance from 1988 to 1995, he served as Governor of the EIB for ten years. He had previously held the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs (1985 - 1988), Minister of the Budget, Scientific Policy and Planning (1981 - 1985) and Minister for the Civil Service and Scientific Policy (1980 - 1981). From 1993 to 1998, Philippe Maystadt also chaired the Interim Committee of the International Monetary Fund.

Philippe Maystadt was elected President of the Christian Social Party (PSC) in 1998, when he relinquished his ministerial duties. He has again been a Member of the Senate since June 1999 (following an earlier term from 1991 to 1995) and served as a Member of the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1991 and from 1995 to 1999.

Philippe Maystadt is aged 51 and married, with three children. After studying law and economics in Belgium (Catholic University of Louvain - UCL) and the United States (Los Angeles), he later became professor at the UCL's Faculty of Law. He is the author of numerous studies and publications in the field of economic and financial law.

Mr Maystadt will be the sixth President of the European Investment Bank since its inception in 1958. He succeeds Sir Brian Unwin, who has been in office since 1 April 1993. The Bank's President is appointed for a term of six years.

Founded in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome, the European Investment Bank is the world's leading multilateral development institution in terms of the volume of financing provided. It is also the foremost non-sovereign borrower on the capital markets, raising some EUR 30 billion a year. Its lending operations, mounted, to a considerable extent, in partnership with around 150 banks, focus on both modernising the economies of the Member States of the European Union (EUR 25 billion) and fostering the development of countries outside the EU (EUR 4.4 billion).