>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 500 million to the Republic of Slovenia to co-finance priority projects being supported by EU funds during the 2014-2020 programming period. The EIB loan, in line with the Partnership Agreement and the Europe 2020 Strategy, will cover the national co-financing contribution for projects. Part of the loan is to be devoted to alleviating the financial burden of Slovenia, one of the countries along the Western Balkans Route most affected by the current wave of refugees.

EIB funds will also support investments in the areas of transport, energy, environment, health, R&D infrastructure, nature protection, social infrastructure, improvement of training and access to employment, ICT, urban regeneration and water.

Mr Laszló Baranyay, EIB Vice-President, stated: “The loan will co-finance strategic projects with a total value of EUR 3.8 billion that are significant for meeting the targets of the Slovenian Government under the Europe 2020 Strategy. This will help to create better conditions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, accelerate the EU convergence process in Slovenia, further strengthen the country’s competiveness and increase the citizens’ quality of life. This is also the first EIB loan providing the possibility to support projects needed to better face challenges related to the ongoing refugee crisis.

Mr Mramor, Minister of Finance, stated: “This is the second EIB co-financing loan signed with the Ministry of Finance providing one of the most favourable sources of budget financing with long tenor at favourable costs.”

The EIB financing is being granted in the form of a Structural Programme Loan. In addition to large-scale infrastructure projects, the EIB loan may also be used to finance smaller schemes, which, due to their limited size, would otherwise not qualify for direct EIB financing.

This is the third EIB loan co-financing EU grants in Slovenia. The Bank previously co-financed EU grants with loans of EUR 20 million in 2004 and EUR 500 million in 2012.