On Tuesday, the ECOFIN Council proposed renewing former Belgian Finance Minister Philippe Maystadt's term of office. His presidency began in January 2000 and was due to end at the close of 2005.

As a public bank at the service of the European Union, the EIB's task is to foster European integration by financing (to the tune of EUR 43.2 billion in 2004) investment promoting:

  • economic and social cohesion in the enlarged European Union;
  • development of a knowledge and innovation-based European economy (innovation 2010 initiative); 
  • construction of trans-European networks (TENs);
  • protection and improvement of the natural and urban environments;
  • better access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • EU development aid and cooperation policies outside the Union.

President Maystadt is tasked with implementing the strategy adopted by the EIB's Governors in June 2005.