>@Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images
© Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images
  • EU finance ministers reached a political agreement on the sidelines of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) in Brussels.
  • The formal procedure to appoint the candidate to serve as the new EIB President for a six-year term will now start with the EIB Board of Directors and Board of Governors.

European Union finance ministers agreed today to support the candidacy of Nadia Calviño as President of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Ministers held a discussion in their capacity as EIB governors on the sidelines of today’s EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.

The decision was reached following consultations among the Bank’s shareholders, led by Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem, who currently chairs the EIB Board of Governors.

“The EIB is a key instrument for delivering EU policy goals, both within our Union and beyond our shores,” said Van Peteghem. “We are convinced that Nadia Calviño has all the qualities needed to manage the world’s biggest multilateral bank, channelling much-needed financing to businesses, and supporting investment to boost Europe’s competitiveness and sustainable growth.”

Currently First Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister of Economy, Trade and Enterprise, Nadia Calviño would succeed Werner Hoyer, whose second mandate at the helm of the EU bank ends on 31 December 2023. An economist by training, Calviño was Director-General for Budget at the European Commission between 2014 and 2018.

“The EIB, the EU’s financial arm, is a key institution for the European economy. It will have an even more important role going forward to fund the green transition, to provide financial support for the rebuilding of Ukraine, and also support the role of Europe in the world,” said Calviño. “I am honoured by the ministers’ trust and support to be at the helm of the EIB Group.” 

Under Werner Hoyer’s leadership since 2012, the EIB became the first multilateral bank to end support for unabated fossil fuels and raised its lending volumes for clean energy and security investments in Europe to unprecedented levels, earning the title of EU climate bank. Werner Hoyer spearheaded initiatives ranging from the financing of vaccines against COVID-19 and polio to helping European businesses weather the fallout from the 2008 financial and social crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war against Ukraine. He also ensured the EU bank did not suffer from the impact of Brexit and steered the largest capital increase in the Bank’s history. Recognising that most of today’s challenges are global, in 2022 the EIB launched EIB Global to support climate action, economic growth, innovation and development beyond the European Union.

“I am proud of what the EIB Group and its dedicated, talented staff have achieved over the past few years. Most of all, I am confident about its future, following today’s decision,” said Hoyer. “Having someone with Nadia Calviño’s breadth of experience in politics and finance in charge of our operations highlights the commitment of our shareholders — the EU Member States — to expanding our footprint and ensuring that, at a time when Europe faces such profound challenges, the EU bank will have the leadership it needs as financing arm of the European Union.”

Next steps and timing

The political agreement reached today paves the way for the formal appointment process by the EIB Board of Directors and Board of Governors by written procedure. Voting within the EIB Board of Directors and Board of Governors is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks, ahead of the official starting date of the new President, which will be 1 January 2024.

For more details on the nomination and appointment process of the EIB President, see Article 11 of the EIB Statute and the Rules of Procedure.

Background information

The EIB Group is the European Union’s long-term financing institution, owned by its Member States. It comprises the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF). We finance sound investments that contribute to EU policy goals, including social and territorial cohesion, innovation, the just transition to climate neutrality, and global partnerships.

As a not-for-profit entity, the EIB passes on the benefit of its strong market rating and consequent low cost of funding on capital markets to its clients — European businesses, Member States and partners around the world.

The EIB’s pioneering and profound engagement in favour of climate action earned it the title of EU climate bank. The Bank launched the first green bonds as early as 2007. It was the first multilateral development bank to end support for fossil fuels, and under its Climate Bank Roadmap it has committed to supporting €1 trillion in climate investment by 2030. Over half of the EIB Group’s lending in 2022 was devoted to climate and environmental sustainability projects, while almost half of the EIB’s financing inside the European Union went to projects in cohesion regions, where per capita income is lower and access to finance more needed. 

The EIB Group is Europe’s innovation champion. The EIF supports Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by improving their access to finance through a wide range of financial intermediaries, including banks, guarantee and leasing companies, micro-credit providers and private equity funds. The EIF designs and offers equity and debt financing instruments, and leverages EU funding tools, such as the InvestEU programme, to support entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, the digital transition and employment. Earlier this year, it launched the European Tech Champions Initiative, an ambitious fund of funds that seeks to make sure that tech pioneers made in Europe, stay in Europe.

EIB operations outstaside the European Union are carried out by EIB Global. As a key partner in the EU Global Gateway, EIB Global aims to support at least €100 billion of investment by 2028, or one-third of the Global Gateway’s target. With offices across the world, EIB Global is close to local people, firms and institutions, and fosters strong Team Europe partnerships with the European Commission and development finance institutions.

More information on the EIB Group’s role and activities is available here.