>@Kapture Agency/EIB

President of the Committee of Regions (CoR) - Markku Markkula - met with European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer in Luxembourg today to discuss joint efforts to enhance private investment and recovery across Europe.

In this context, EIB President Hoyer said: “Cooperation between our institutions is of great benefit for the citizens in Europe. Within the European Union, the Committee of Regions has a very good understanding of local needs and challenges “on the ground”. This helps the EIB to  invest where it is most needed. The Investment Plan for Europe  will further create opportunities for investment in areas that find it harder to get access to finance. The experience of the CoR and its know-how  will therefore be of great importance for the work of EIB.”

In January the two institutions launched a joint Action Plan to simplify procedures and speed up the implementation of quality EU projects that benefit citizens and local businesses. As a part of this plan, the CoR supports local and regional authorities around Europe by helping them to get access to the EIB’s expertise in addressing local needs. In-line with the 2015 EIB-CoR action plan, cooperation is set to be expanded in the future.

Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of Regions remarked: “The Action Plan clearly demonstrates our mutual interests in boosting Europe's economy and this must be further strengthened. Access to financial instruments, especially for projects at subnational level and notably small projects, is still an issue for many regions and cities in the EU. Capacity building, technical assistance and the simplification of existing rules are crucial and we count on the EIB's involvement in addressing these issues even further. The EIB can also increase risk financing especially in integrating start-up development within city innovation hubs."

In addition to bilateral meetings between the heads of the institutions, representatives of the EIB and the CoR engaged in workshops about the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the use of European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as how to consolidate the cooperation between the EIB and the CoR. The latter’s involvement in raising awareness with regional authorities about the financial possibilities made available by the EIB is crucial for local development across Europe.