Overseeing operations in Austria and the Central European and Balkan countries and as a platform for EU support programmes financed by the Structural and Cohesion Funds, the Vienna Office introduces a new type of EIB representation within the EU.
After over fifteen years of intensive lending activity totalling more than EUR 40 billion (1) , the establishment of this new office underlines the significance of this region for the Bank's operations in Austria and the new Central European Member States. The Vienna Office's remit covers Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia, and also Romania and Bulgaria.
In its public-sector lending, emphasis is placed on the early identification of suitable projects and increased advice for promoters and operators with regard to the European Union's objectives in terms of major infrastructure projects. The Vienna Office also provides a working platform for the recently created support programmes in the region. Other tasks include the early pinpointing of suitable projects in the institutional advice sector - a new area of activity for the Bank. In addition, the Vienna Office will focus on strengthening cooperation with the EIB's partner banks in the region and promoting industrial investment in Central Europe by the Bank's large corporate customers (foreign direct investment) and will act as a point of contact for accredited international institutions in Vienna.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, finances economically viable projects that contribute towards integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion within the European Union. Outside the Union, the Bank implements the Financial Protocols to the Agreements concluded under EU development cooperation.
Over the next few years, the EIB will contribute to furthering the objectives defined under the Austrian EU Presidency in the following areas in particular:
- research and development, innovation and economic competitiveness;
- energy efficiency and security of supply for Europe;
- support for European SMEs; and
- large-scale investment in the infrastructure sector, particularly in trans-European transport networks.
(1) Signed finance contracts with borrowers in Central and Eastern European countries amount to EUR 34.8 billion and in Austria to EUR 5.6 billion (1 January 1990 to 11 May 2006).