Speaking at the joint EIB-Bertelsmann Foundation ‘Tackling the Root Cause of Migration: Europe’s Strategy for Economic Resilience’ event in Washington DC, on the margins of the IMF/World Bank Group Spring meetings, EIB President Werner Hoyer called for effective multilateralism and outlined the Bank’s role in addressing the challenges related to the migration crisis.

Like all major challenges, migration cannot be addressed unilaterally. We must remain firm in our belief that to respond successfully to global crises, challenges and threats, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system, founded on universal rights and values”, EIB President Hoyer said.

He added: “It is a sad fact that it has taken the migration issue to refocus Europe’s attention on development. But let us take this opportunity to develop a strategy based on partnership: a strategy that mobilises investment and can offer hope to millions outside our borders.”

The European Investment Bank rolled out the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) in 2016 at the request of EU Member States to mobilise additional financing in support of countries in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood and in the Western Balkan region to respond to shocks such as the Syrian refugee crisis. The EIB's Economic Resilience Initiative forms part of the joined up EU response to the challenges posed by forced displacement and migration.

Over the last ten years the EIB has established a strong investment track record, and signed financing operations in the Southern Neighbourhood and in the Western Balkans amounting to EUR 13.7 billion and EUR 6.6 billion respectively. Under the ERI, the Bank will increase its planned financing by EUR 6 billion by 2020 over and above the EUR 7.5 billion already foreseen. This increase is expected to mobilise and support additional investment of EUR 15 billion.

Finally, the EIB President concluded by stressing the need to support young people: “Taking a long-term approach to migration, we must focus on opportunities for the young. If we fail to offer hope and perspectives to young people, we further weaken the social fabric of vulnerable countries and increase political as well as economic risks.

See Werner Hoyer's full speech here: EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative