Today, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Republic of Hungary signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. This Strategy identifies priorities for action in the fields of infrastructure, environmental protection, knowledge economy and the competitiveness of enterprises. Based on the good model developed for the Baltic Sea Strategy the EIB will contribute to coordinating the activities in the region.

The EU Strategy covers the Danube macro region, with a population of more than 100 million including parts of 8 EU Member States: Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania and 6 non-EU countries: Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova.

EIB President Philippe Maystadt, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding together with Hungarian Minister of National Economy Mr György Matolcsy, stated: “The Danube Region countries face common challenges that can be addressed only through mutual actions. I very much welcome that the EIB can contribute to such cooperation through providing project expertise and financing for the benefits of people living in this part of Europe”.

In this context, EIB lending will be focused on three main Priority Areas of the Strategy: mobility and intermodality, water quality, and energy. The individual projects should, in line with the Strategy Action Plan, result in immediate and visible benefits for the people of the Danube Region, promote sustainable development, cover several regions and countries, and be mutually supportive.

To implement the Strategy, the EIB will also use various forms of technical assistance facilities (e.g. for project preparation (JASPERS), European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA)) and facilitate the use of existing multi-donor financing mechanisms such as the Western Balkans Investment Framework and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility.

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region is the second macro-regional strategy after the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. To foster its implementation, the EIB will involve its network of offices based in various capitals of the Region to these ends.

The EIB has long experience of project financing in the countries and regions covered by the Danube Strategy. Only within the last four years (2007-2010) the EIB lending commitments in the Danube region amounted to some EUR 38 billion. In 2010, total EIB lending in this region was
EUR 10.3 billion of which 8.8 billion for EU Member States.


The EIB is the long-term lending bank of the European Union. Its main task is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. Besides supporting projects in the EU Member States, its lending activities also include financing investments in future Member States of the EU and EU partner countries. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets, which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. It is the largest supranational borrower and its consistent AAA rating is underpinned by firm shareholder support, a strong capital base, excellent asset quality, conservative risk management and a sound funding strategy.