A new EIB evaluation report on the performance of cross-border Trans-European Network (TEN) projects financed by the EIB is published on the Bank's website.

Ex-post evaluation is carried out by EIB's Operation Evaluation Department (EV) which works independently from other Bank's Directorates. EV provides transparency vis-à-vis the EIB's governing bodies as well as interested outside parties by carrying out thematic, sector and regional/country evaluations of projects financed by the Bank. Through its work, it encourages the organisation to learn from experience.

The report highlights that since its foundation, the Bank's financing of transport and energy infrastructures throughout Europe has been one of its core activities. From the beginning of the TEN initiative in the 1990's, its financing was an important lending priority for the Bank. Total EIB signatures in favour of trans-European network projects amounted to EUR 86.8 bn between 1995 and 2005. Significant emphasis has been always given on cross-border sections, but it is increasingly recognised that these cross-border sections are often the key missing links between the national networks. Although the Bank has significantly strengthened its TEN cooperation, in particular with the Commission over the recent past, further increased policy dialogue as well as a proactive prioritisation for cross-border sections, seems appropriate.

The report shows that the eleven evaluated projects were in line with the general EU TEN objectives and the overall project performance for cross-border projects was good, with one project was rated poor. It shows that:

The EIB, as the leading EU long-term infrastructure lender, provided significant financial value added to the projects,

  • the main strength of the EIB resided in its role of providing the required, often very large, financial resources in line with the needs of the promoter and at competitive rates and terms.
  • the EIB's knowledge of infrastructure related project issues, built on its experience both within the EU and outside, helped to identify and mitigate key project risks.
  • while large cross-border infrastructure projects may be a necessary they are not a sufficient condition for long-term growth in the regions concerned, more important is that regions exploit their respective competitive advantages.

Transport and energy TEN infrastructure financing is well established within the Bank and processes and procedures are mostly well targeted. Over time, the EIB has developed specific knowledge and particular value added for many cross-border mega-projects. This knowledge is increasingly requested for project preparation. While most of the projects were successful, EV recommended a number of measures to further increase the Bank's value added, improve project efficiency and sustainability and maximise its contribution.