>@Mireia Gonzalez Torrijos/EIB

  • Pledges from EU member states for the Economic Resilience Initiative now total more than 128 million euros
  • Commitments helping to create jobs and tackle the migration challenge in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans – with a special focus on young people and women
  • The Economic Resilience Initiative is on track with 21 projects and 1.5 billion euros of financing already approved

Today the European Investment Bank welcomed a boost from member states that will support the European Union’s action to support resilience and tackle the migration challenge in its neighbourhood through the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) –an investment plan aimed at supporting job creation in the private sector and key social infrastructure such as water, health and education.

Today Luxembourg signed a new agreement to support the ERI, thus increasing its initial contribution of 400,000 euros by another 2 million euros. The UK has also confirmed its support through a commitment of up to 25 million GBP (about 28 million euros) that was pledged two years ago in the context of the  “London Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region”, hosted by the UK and co-chaired with the United Nations and with the governments of Germany, Kuwait, and Norway.

Last year’s contributions from Lithuania and Croatia of 450,000 euros and 500,000 euros respectively, alongside those provided by Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, will support the EU Bank’s special ERI Fund aimed at stepping up investment in the Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans. As announced last year, Poland and Italy are contributing 50 and 45 million euros respectively. with contributions from Slovakia of 2 million euros and Slovenia 0.5 million euros.

The investments supported with the contributions from the Member States will allow for new job opportunities – particularly for women and young people. In so doing, the Economic Resilience Initiative, complementary to the EU’s recently agreed External Investment Plan, will help to address the root causes of migration.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said, “The support from EU member states has been excellent for the Economic Resilience Initiative. The extra contribution we have signed today from the Luxembourg government is a truly positive signal and a vote of confidence for our initiative to tackle migration and build resilience. I can report that the Economic Resilience initiative is well on track is already having an impact in the regions concerned. Thanks to projects agreed until now, more than 54,000 jobs will be supported through lending to 1.300 small and medium businesses by our partner banks and ERI projects will bring safer water and improved sanitation to over 1.5 million people. We look forward to receiving further contributions from other Member States.”

Speaking from Luxembourg, Vice President Dario Scannapieco who oversees the EU Bank’s response to the migration challenge said “The contributions from the Member States are most welcome. They will help to improve people’s daily life and the business environment not only in communities where many migrants come from, but also in host and transit communities. Building resilience, supporting inclusive growth and helping our neighbours to tackle challenges like migration is in the European Union’s responsibility and in its own interest.”

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 and as a follow up to the London Syria Conference in 2016. Focused on the Western Balkans and Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood, which covers North Africa and the Middle East, the ERI initiative substantially increases EIB financing in these regions: an extra 6 billion euros in addition to the 7.5 billion euros already planned by 2020.The bank estimates that ERI will take the total EIB mobilisation 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 have 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 and medium sized businesses, helping to sustain more than 54,000 jobs
  • ERI projects will bring safer water and improved sanitation for over 1.5 million people
  • 420,000 passengers are set to benefit from better transport every day
  • Funding will create some 6,600 places for students in tertiary educational facilities

More Information:

Press release from September 2017:



Syrian Conference 2017: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/04/05/syria-conference-co-chairs-declaration/