• Italy was the leading recipient of EIB Group financing in 2023 (+22% from 2022).
  • Sizeable increase in investment for combating climate change (+27%) and social cohesion (+55%).
  • Financing for innovation and digitalisation of businesses almost doubled.

The EIB Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), presented today in Rome the results of its activity in Italy in 2023. With 89 operations signed for a total volume of €12.22 billion, Italy was the leading beneficiary of EIB Group financing in 2023. This activity will help trigger nearly €38 billion of investment in the real economy.

EIB Vice-President and EIF Chair Gelsomina Vigliotti said: “In 2023, against the backdrop of increased geopolitical and economic instability, the EIB Group played a key role in sustaining economic growth in Italy, promoting investments supporting the climate and energy transition, the economic development of the South of the country and digitalisation and innovation in the private sector. We consolidated our role as the climate bank of Italy and of the EU. Financing dedicated to environmental sustainability and energy security in the country exceeded 2022’s record levels by almost €1.5 billion, reaching €7 billion. This proves that the Italian economy has been able to create successful projects and initiatives that act as a catalyst for EU funds and have a multiplier effect on investment. I am pleased to confirm that once again in 2023, one in every six euros disbursed by the EIB Group in Europe went to Italy”.

Record green financing: over €7 billion, of which almost €3 billion for REPowerEU

The EIB Group’s investments supporting environmental sustainability and energy security in Italy achieved a record volume of €7.02 billion, or 57% of total activity in the country (an increase of almost €1.5 billion compared to 2022). Of this €7 billion, €2.98 billion was dedicated to supporting REPowerEU’s objectives, such as energy saving, clean energy production, and diversification of our energy supply. Examples:

Cohesion: 38% of EIB Group financing

Promoting cohesion in the European Union is key to reducing economic and social gaps between regions and ensuring that each region can reach its full potential. It is important that the transition to a sustainable and green economy leaves no one behind. To support this cross-cutting objective, in 2023 the EIB Group earmarked 38% of its investments in Italy, or €4.6 billion, for the economic development of the south of the country. Examples:

€2.98 billion to support Italian small businesses and mid-caps

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the backbone of the economy and account for a substantial share of the productive fabric and employment levels in the country. Thanks to its collaboration with the country’s leading public and commercial banks, the EIB Group financed the liquidity and working capital needs of SMEs to the tune of €2.98 billion, supporting more than 58 000 companies that have over 1 million employees. Examples:

€2.3 billion for innovation and digitalisation of businesses

In 2023, the EIB Group almost doubled its financing for innovation and digitalisation in Italy (+98%) from 2022, reaching a total volume of €2.30 billion. These investments are key to achieving the two main objectives of the Green Deal: the ecological transition and digitalisation. Examples:

€1.35 billion from the EIF

In 2023, the EIF invested approximately 9%, or €1.35 billion, of its total activity in Italy, of which €804 million in guarantees and €554 million in equity (+48% from 2022). Examples:

Overall results — EIB Group

In 2023, the EIB Group signed financing agreements totalling €87.85 billion. This activity will help trigger investments of around €320 billion in the real economy, supporting 400 000 companies that have over 4 million employees. In 2023, the EIB also dedicated almost half (46%) of its funding to projects in cohesion regions. As regards the ecological transition, the EIB again increased its green financing compared to 2022 from €38 billion to €49 billion. The EIB Group is therefore on track to reach its Climate Bank Roadmap target of triggering €1 000 billion in green finance over this decade, having already supported investments worth €349 billion.

EIB survey of investments by Italian companies

The EIB also published today a survey on the investment dynamics of Italian companies. Investments to promote digitalisation struck a positive note and were in line with the EU average. However, in Italy the percentage of investments needed to combat climate change is still below the EU average. For example, only 39% of companies in Italy have invested in measures to improve their energy efficiency compared with an EU average of 59%.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute to EU policy objectives. EIB projects bolster competitiveness, drive innovation, promote sustainable development, enhance social and territorial cohesion, and support a just and swift transition to climate neutrality. In the last five years, the EIB Group has provided more than €58 billion in financing for projects in Italy.

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 businesses by helping them to access finance and venture capital. The EIF is also active in supporting climate fund investments and infrastructure with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.