The European Investment Bank and the European Commission welcome the final adoption today of new legislation on EIB lending outside the EU on the basis of an EU budgetary guarantee.  The new mandate streamlines the objectives of EIB lending and provides for additional resources to tackle climate change and to support the EU’s Southern and Eastern neighbours. The new mandate is expected to enter into force on 1st November 2011.

EIB President Philippe Maystadt said: “This new mandate will strengthen the EIB’s capacity to respond to global challenges such as climate change and will further the EU’s partnership with neighbouring countries. We will work even more closely with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission in pursuing EU policy goals.”

European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said: “The EIB plays an important role in Europe's response to our global challenges. This revised mandate will reinforce EIB's financial capacity and will better frame its contribution to the EU international efforts building on its comparative advantages. In particular, it should be instrumental to help EIB to take part in our joint efforts to provide support to our Mediterranean Partners in their democratic transition process and more generally to support Pre-Accession and Partner countries to withstand the crisis."

The legislation on EIB lending outside the EU on the basis of an EU budgetary guarantee covers the period 2007-13. On top of an existing financial envelope of 25.8 billion euro, the new mandate provides for an extra EUR 2 billion of lending for climate action and an extra EUR 1.7 billion of lending for the EU’s pre-accession, neighbourhood and partner countries, of which EUR 1bn for Southern Mediterranean countries undertaking political reforms. Cambodia, Iceland, Iraq and Libya are added to the list of countries eligible to receive EIB loans under the mandate.

Among the novelties of the new mandate is the introduction of high-level objectives for financing across all eligible countries, namely:

  • local private sector development, including support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • social and economic infrastructure;
  • climate change mitigation and adaptation;

In applying the objectives, the EIB will support EU external polices, including enlargement, neighbourhood and development cooperation.  The decision also aims at strengthening the capacity of the EIB to support EU development objectives indirectly and enhance the EIB's appraisal and monitoring of development, social and environmental aspects of projects.

Cooperation between the EIB and the EEAS will be reinforced both at the level of programming and on the ground, through location of EIB offices within EU delegations. The new legislation calls for a study by mid-2012 on the creation of an “EU Platform for Cooperation and Development” with a view to optimising the functioning of mechanisms for the blending of European loans and grants outside the EU.