The European Investment Bank is granting a loan of EUR 350 million to mark the designation of Genoa as European City of Culture 2004. The purpose of the credit line in favour of the Municipality of Genoa, the Province of Genoa, the Liguria Region and Banca Carige is to finance public infrastructure and private-sector investment in the Province of Genoa.

The funding has been agreed for development of the city and province of Genoa. It is particularly directed at urban regeneration and roads projects as well as health, educational and environmental schemes. The EIB loan will be divided between the Municipality of Genoa (EUR 150 million), the Province of Genoa (EUR 30 million), the Liguria Region (EUR 50 million) and Banca Carige (EUR 120 million). It will help fund investments worth some EUR 850 million in total.

The projects to be considered form part of the development plans of the Municipality and Province of Genoa and the Liguria Region. Banca Carige will receive direct funding to support schemes by private enterprises and local authorities. Banca Carige has worked in cooperation with the EIB for some ten years and last December benefited from a maiden loan for the Genoa area.

This operation, carried out with the collaboration of FILSE (the Liguria Region's financing company), is the Bank's first in favour of the various strata of local government and the banking sector. The innovative capital structure was adopted to make available to all interested players the resources required to implement consistent, integrated operations.

Support for the public sector is complemented by that for private enterprise, through the intermediary of the banking sector.

This structure brings together two major European objectives: subsidiarity and public-private partnership. Subsidiarity emphasises the close connection between where decisions are taken and where they are implemented. Public-private partnerships are an efficient instrument when resources are scarce and there are urgent and substantial needs.

On this basis, the EIB is contributing to the modernisation and rehabilitation process in the Genoa area, with a view to further operations as part of its Operational Programme and under the Action for Growth adopted by the European Council.