For the first time an EIB operation in Croatia is being combined with grants provided by the European Commission: 

  • the SME Financial Facility is aimed at further developing strong and competitive small and medium-sized enterprises in Croatia and provides the EIB’s partner banks with incentives to lend to SMEs;  and 
  • the Municipal Finance Facility provides additional support to municipalities to promote municipal investments mostly relating to the building, upgrading or refurbishment of small municipal infrastructure.

The EIB funds will help Privredna Banka Zagreb to finance projects of SMEs and municipalities, whose access to funding is still limited. This will continue the successful cooperation of the EIB with this financial institution in support of small-scale investments in operations benefiting from the Croatian bank’s knowledge of the local market and extensive network of branches in the country. Indeed, in 2001 the EIB provided Privredna Banka Zagreb with a loan of EUR 16 million that has been fully used.

A priority of the EIB is to further improve access to long-term financing for SMEs and municipalities. This is underlined by the decision of the EIB’s Board of Governors on 3 June 2008, which commits the Bank to simplify procedures and reporting for intermediated loans and to increase the scope of this financing product so as to also cover the intangible aspects of investments. In addition, the EIB will share the risk with the intermediary financial institution, increase the transparency of intermediated loans and work towards a more effective transfer of the advantage of EIB funds to the final beneficiary.


The task of the EIB, the European Union’s bank promoting European objectives, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States by financing sound investment. In Croatia, being an EU Acceding Country, the EIB supports investment projects that prepare it for EU membership.

EIB loans to partner banks have been developed as a successful tool for providing long-term funding for financing smaller projects with total costs from EUR 40 000 to EUR 25 million. They consist of credit lines to financial intermediaries that on-lend EIB funds under their own management, at their own risk and on their own terms. Since 2001, loan contracts worth EUR 1.35 billion have been signed in Croatia, including EUR 156 million in support of SME and municipality investments in the country.