- The EIB Group and the European Commission officially unveiled the InvestEU programme today in Athens. It aims to unlock over €372 billion of investment in the European Union.
- Investments under the InvestEU programme will focus on four policy areas: sustainable infrastructure; research, innovation and digitisation; small and medium-sized businesses; and social investment and skills.
- At least 30% of financing will be dedicated to climate change mitigation.
- The European Commission and the EIB also signed the InvestEU Advisory Hub agreement which paves the way for new investments and related advisory assistance in support of Europe’s post-pandemic recovery and green and digital transitions.
The EIB Group, comprising the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), and the European Commission organized a special event in Athens today to launch the InvestEU programme in Greece. With an EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion, the programme aims to unlock investments of over €372 billion across Europe to support the European Union’s strategic priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition.
The event in Athens at the Armed Forces Officers Club was opened with greetings European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, Greece’s Minister of Finance and EIB Governor Christos Staikouras, and European Investment Bank Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen, while also present were Greece’s Deputy Minister of Development and Investments for Research and Technology Christos Dimas, Minister of Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis, and Deputy Minister of Development and Investments, Ioannis Tsakiris. The event was attended by clients, stakeholders and media representatives.
“InvestEU is an innovative new EU budgetary instrument that will unlock substantial new financing estimated at 370bn EUR for investments that will help Europe meet its biggest challenges. From promoting environmental and climate sustainability, to encouraging research, innovation and digitalisation; from supporting small and medium enterprises to strengthening social infrastructure and skills, InvestEU will offer tailored solutions for both large existing companies and innovative new entrants. With the support and experience of our long-standing partner in the European Investment Bank, I am confident InvestEU will be a major catalyst for substantial and impactful investments in Greece in the coming years,” said Margaritis Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission.
“By presenting the InvestEU programme today in Athens, the EIB Group and the European Commission are sending a strong signal of support for investment in the European Union, including Greece of course, and namely investment focusing on four critical policy areas. These areas lie at the heart of our agenda and include sustainable infrastructure, research-innovation-digitization, small and medium-sized enterprises, and social investment and skills. With an EU budget guarantee of EUR 26.2 billion and an aim to unlock investments of over EUR 372 billion – half of the RRF’s total funds – across Europe, InvestEU can act as a catalyst for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, job creation and high-impact investments in our countries in a period of multiple exogenous crises. Taking into account the fact that, thanks to the Investment Team for Greece, our country is one of the largest EIB beneficiaries over the last few years, I am confident that Greece will equally champion the InvestEU programme in similar fashion,” said Christos Staikouras, Greece’s Minister of Finance and EIB Governor.
“InvestEU, the new EU programme to finance investment in the European Union, is a key mechanism for financing high-risk projects helping to make the European economy greener and more digital. Today's event gives us the opportunity to present the EIB Group's financial and advisory products to our Greek clients and partners, and the opportunities they can provide for the local economy. Promoting the circular economy in countries like Greece, and investing in small and medium-sized enterprises in key sectors such as sustainability, innovation and culture are all strategic priorities of the InvestEU programme to kick-start the European economy, which was hit hard first by the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine,” said EIB Vice-President, Christian Kettel Thomsen.
EIB Group presence in Greece
Last year represented the EIB Group’s largest ever engagement in Greece. The EIB and EIF provided almost EUR 5 billion of new financing to help Greek companies overcome COVID-19 challenges and accelerate energy transition and to support investments in Greek SMEs, safer roads, better schools, digitalization and protection from floods.
The EIB Group will implement 75% of the EU budget guarantee (€19.65 billion) and the same share of the advisory budget under the InvestEU Advisory Hub. Further to the EIB and EIF, who are the main implementing partners, international financial institutions active in Europe and national promotional banks will be able to use a share of the guarantee (25% in total) to support investment and projects schemes. The first InvestEU projects in Greece are expected to roll out in 2023.
Building on success of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
The operations benefitting from the EU budgetary guarantee will finance investments in four policy areas to support the EU’s goals in sustainability, scientific excellence and social inclusion: sustainable infrastructure; research, innovation and digitisation; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps; and social investment and skills. At least 30% of all the investments will be made in areas directly supporting Europe's green transition.
The InvestEU programme builds on the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe and its European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). It combines 13 EU financial instruments available under the previous Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in one integrated instrument and covers a broader scope of policy areas than EFSI. The impact of the EFSI loans has been significant. EFSI over-delivered and so far has mobilised €546.5 billion in investments, benefitting over 1.4 million SMEs. It has become a success in co-financing projects that otherwise might not have been carried through.
The InvestEU programme is a key pillar of the European Union’s largest ever stimulus package to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and to help build green, digital and fair European economy. It can also support the European economy in addressing new challenges arising from major uncertainties linked to the global and security outlook.
By providing a €26.2 billion EU budgetary guarantee to support finance and investment operations, it intends to attract private capital and mobilise more than €372 billion to support public and private investment in key EU policy priorities.
European Invesment Fund
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.