Prime Minister Manuel Valls today visited the headquarters of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group in Luxembourg to meet EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and announce a EUR 2.1 billion package of new loans in support of concrete projects accelerating growth and employment which will unlock EUR 8.7 billion worth of additional investment in France. Among the projects signed, five were financed under the Investment Plan for Europe, aka the "Juncker Plan", from which France is one of the first countries to benefit.
Climate action, agriculture, innovation, SMEs and sustainable transport are at the heart of the EU bank's exceptional mobilisation in France, which was commended by Manuel Valls at the signing ceremony: "Europe must invest in the future more than it is now. It must place the EIB at the heart of its economic strategy even more than today. France fully supports the EIB as the EIB represents Europe as a concrete reality."
"I am deeply honoured that the French Prime Minister is visiting the headquarters of the European Investment Bank", said EIB President Werner Hoyer. "The financing operations signed today total over EUR 2 billion and demonstrate the EU bank's strong commitment to reviving growth and employment in France. The Investment Plan for Europe is flourishing, and specifically in France 28 projects have already been approved and this is expected to unlock EUR 9.4 billion worth of new investment. To meet the major challenges facing Europe and France, the EIB is paying greater attention and responding more than ever to the needs of its citizens, businesses and young people."
During Mr Valls's visit 15 new projects totalling EUR 2.1 billion of new financing were signed:
- In connection with the French Government's "Meeting the challenges of migration" plan, the EIB has decided to lend EUR 50 million to ADOMA to rehabilitate buildings and help provide housing to asylum seekers and refugees.
- Two projects concern the agricultural sector. In response to the crisis currently affecting French agriculture, the EIB has undertaken in conjunction with CRÉDIT AGRICOLE to support the agri-food sector to the tune of EUR 55 million. The EIB will also provide finance worth millions of euros to the French farming cooperative "Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin" to build and operate a new dairy processing plant in MEAUTIS (Normandy) under the Investment Plan for Europe, aka the "Juncker Plan".
- Four projects were signed in the field of innovation. The pioneering French new technologies company ARCHOS will receive EIB financing of EUR 12 million to develop its R&D activities and deploy a network of connected objects in Europe. Under the JUNCKER Plan, three new transactions totalling EUR 340 million in support of innovative enterprises were entered into with LA BANQUE POSTALE, CAISSES D’EPARGNE and ENTREPRENEUR VENTURE.
- Three projects are for financing French SMEs and midcaps. Under the JUNCKER Plan, the EIB's subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF) will provide a EUR 75 million guarantee for financing French craft enterprises via Société Interprofessionnelle Artisanale de Garantie d’Investissements (SIAGI). The EIB will also contribute EUR 400 million via its partners (BPCE, CIC, BNP PARIBAS) for financing French SMEs and midcaps in the industrial and services sector. Lastly, the EIB will develop in conjunction with CRÉDIT AGRICOLE a common leasing solution for SMEs and midcaps.
- One project has been signed in the field of higher education. Thanks to the EU and CAISSES D’EPARGNE, French Master's students will now benefit from the ERASMUS + programme in the form of a loan of up to EUR 12 000 for one year of studies and EUR 18 000 for more than one year on favourable terms without a supplementary security or guarantee.
- As regards climate action, given France's COP 21 commitments and the fact that this is a priority policy for the EIB (47% of its activity in France in 2015), Manuel VALLS announced the signature of three projects: new loans for the construction and renovation of hospitals (EUR 100 million) and public buildings in partnership with LA BANQUE POSTALE (EUR 100 million) and financial support to AKUO to develop renewable energy (onshore wind, photovoltaics and biomass) in France and worldwide.
- Lastly, in terms of sustainable infrastructure, Grand Paris is receiving a EUR 1 billion loan to construct the first line of the Grand Paris Express (Line 15 South) – an important step in this major project coming to fruition. The project will improve mobility for people living in Île-de-France whilst at the same time supporting economic activity and employment in the region.
Thanks to these loans France becomes one of the top three JUNCKER Plan beneficiary countries with 28 projects selected, which are expected to unlock EUR 9.4 billion worth of additional investment. At pan-European level, the EIB Group has approved more than 200 projects, which are expected to leverage total investment of over EUR 78 billion, i.e. about a quarter of the overall target of EUR 315 billion.
Financements signés à l’occasion de la visite du Premier ministre