• Today’s vote gives the green light to the EU Bank for an extra 3.7 billion euros in support of the Bank’s Economic Resilience Initiative to target migration in the EU’s Southern Neighborhood and the Western Balkans.
  • It allows for an increase in financing for Europe’s Eastern Partnership countries, including Ukraine
  • And confirms the EIB as the key EU partner in development finance by increasing the overall guarantee for EIB financing outside of the EU by an extra 5.3 billion euros. This will in effect allow for 32.3 billion euros of financing out of Europe for the 2014- 2020 period.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) welcomed the vote by the European Parliament which will provide further finance for investments in Europe’s Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods.

MEPs have been voting on the mid-term review of the External Lending Mandate (ELM). This provides the guarantee by which the EU Bank can lend outside the European Union in support of EU development and cooperation policies in partner countries. The vote follows endorsement by the EU member state representatives at the end of last year. The European Parliament also voted today in favour of its annual report on the European Investment Bank’s financial activities for 2016.

Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg, President Hoyer said “Building resilience, supporting inclusive growth and helping partner countries to tackle major challenges, such as migration and the effects of climate change, are at the core of the EU Bank’s business beyond the Union’s borders. As the key EU partner for development finance, we are helping to deliver the EU’s external policy goals and security and stability for citizens in and outside Europe. This vote today from the European Parliament allows us to keep doing that. It also clearly reflects the understanding that tackling these challenges outside Europe and in its neighbourhood is good for Europeans too- for their prosperity and security, – and I welcome that.”

He added, In particular the decision to endorse extra support for our Economic Resilience Initiative is most welcome. Through this initiative –as part of the EU’s overall effort to tackle migration - we can invest in resilience in the Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans. Creating opportunities for those who have been displaced by conflict nearer to home and supporting countries hosting millions of refugees at the same time makes complete sense.”

Some 1.8 billion euros under the increased ELM is earmarked for projects to support countries in the European Union’s Eastern Neighborhood including Ukraine. The EIB has successfully doubled its lending to Ukraine over the period 2014-2016 from 1.5 billion euros to 3 billion euros as part of the support package the EU has committed to in March 2014 – which effectively meant that the original limit set for lending in the region was almost reached by the end of last year.

Vice President Vazil Hudak, who leads on the Eastern Partnership at the EU Bank said “The additional support approved today by the European Parliament will allow the EU bank, in cooperation with European Commission and other institutions, to provide further financing and advisory help to Eastern Partnership countries up to 2020 in order to strengthen the competitiveness of their economies, and to develop stronger societies and more effective governance”.

The Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) was requested by the 28 EU member states in 2016 as a part of the EU response to the challenges posed by forced displacement and migration. The aim is to combine support for the private sector, particularly for young people and women, with more investment in key sectors like water, health and education. The Bank estimates additional financing under the Economic Resilience Initiative will take the total EIB mobilization of investment in the regions to some 35 billion euros by 2020. Investments under ERI are well on track Up to now, 21 projects and 1.5 billion euros of financing has been approved under the new initiative. These are already starting to make an impact on the ground:

  • Lending via partner banks alone is set to benefit over 1,300 smaller businesses and midcaps, helping to sustain more than 54,000 jobs.
  • ERI projects will bring safer water and improved and sanitation for over 1.5 million people
  • Some 420,000 passengers will benefit daily from better urban and rail transport
  • Funding will create some 6,600 places for students in tertiary educational facilities

More Information:

The Mandate approved today by the European Parliament also introduces more flexibility by allowing the EIB to increase the re-allocation of funds between regions and sub-regions up to 2020. More flexibility is needed in order to address urgent challenges that could arise during this period.

Figure breakdown by region: (under the reviewed ELM)

New total: EUR 32.3 billion for 2014-2020

Regional ceilings

Pre-accession countries:




Eastern Neighbourhood:


Latin America:




Central Asia:


South Africa:


The External Lending Mandate (ELM) covers 68 countries and/or territories in four regions: Pre-Accession countries; the EU Southern and Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia (MED and EAST); Asia and Latin America (ALA); and the Republic of South Africa.

In addition, the EIB lends at its own risk for investment-grade operations in Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood countries, and globally in support of climate and strategic investments.

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement covers operations in the 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. The over-arching objective of the Cotonou Agreement is to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty, in line with the objectives of sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the global economy.

EIB lending activities in EU Eastern Neighbourhood in 2017