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  • EIB financing of €300 million will finance two earth observation satellites for Poland.
  • Project is supported by the EIB’s Strategic European Security Initiative and is in line with the EIB Group’s new Security and Defence Industry Action Plan.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced backing today for the development and launch of two Earth observation satellites that will provide high-resolution imagery for civilian and defence applications in Poland. The EIB is lending €300 million to Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) for the project to support the European space industry with the latest technology in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.  It comes after the EIB’s Board of Directors approved the EIB Group’s new Security and Defence Industry Action Plan which is intended to step up investments in the sector.

Speaking from Warsaw, on her first visit to Poland since she over at the helm of the EIB Group, President Nadia Calviño said, “I just had an excellent meeting with Prime Minister Tusk, where we have confirmed that our priorities are fully aligned. We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Poland’s accession to the EU, and I would like to congratulate you, and Prime Minister Tusk in particular, on this extraordinary journey. I am impressed by how Poland has changed and developed over these two decades.  Poland is a great success story. A bright example of the benefits of EU membership. And I am proud that the European Investment Bank Group has been a key actor contributing to that great success. The EU has financed roads and railways, modern Polish cities and the energy transition. The European Investment Bank Group has invested close to 100 billion euros in Poland.“

She added, “Today, we are also announcing another flagship investment project in Poland. I am really glad to announce with Prime Minister Tusk and our partners at the BGK Bank, that the EIB Group will invest 300 million euros in Poland’s first earth observation satellite system, which will support a number of initiatives for dual, civil and security use.  It follows the launch of the EIB Group’s new Action Plan to step up our support for Europe’s security and defence industry. I am very pleased that the first operation since we launched this Action Plan is signed here in Poland.“

President Calviño is meeting Prime Minister Tusk as well as Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Andrzej Domański, Minister of Finance during her visit.

“Investing in innovations contributes to security and prosperity of our society and boosts economic growth which is pivotal for the EIB.” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska. “This new satellite project will allow Poland to join the space industry and to commit to EU space autonomy and we are glad that with it we can strengthen our long-term partnership with BGK.”

“This is a unique project of strategic importance for the Polish state, which we can realize thanks to our cooperation with the EIB. This is how we understand our bank's mission, which is to support Poland's socio-economic development. We invest in key projects, for our own and future generations. Satellites will give us tremendous and needed access to knowledge, the use of which will allow us to strengthen security – both militarily and civilian. This is a significant step in our digital progress. Such investments allow us to increase the importance of the space industry as a vital branch of the Polish economy" – said Marta Postuła, First Vice President of the Management Board of BGK, Polish Development Bank.

The project announced today, involves the design, assembly, testing and launch of a pair of satellites capable of capturing high-resolution images. It also includes two ground stations for controlling the satellites and downloading  images, which will be used by the Polish Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and governmental bodies such as the Polish Space Agency. The plan is for the two satellites to become operational by 2028.

Boosting EIB Group support to safeguard Europe’s peace and security is one of the top 8 strategic priorities, outlined by President Calviño as part of the Group’s Strategic Roadmap welcomed by EU Finance Ministers.  Following intensive consultations with the Bank’s shareholders, financial markets and key stakeholders, and the European Council’s mandate to further improve access to finance for European security and defence firms last week the EIB Group’s Security and Defence Industry Action Plan was formally approved  by the EIB’s Board of Directors.

As part of  the Action Plan, the EIB Group has created a dedicated Security and Defence Office, providing a one-stop shop for security and defence investment. It offers streamlined financial support and expert assistance aimed at strengthening Europe’s security and defence capabilities.

The changes are expected to speed up investment and improve access to EIB Group financing for the European security and defence sector, deploying €6 billion in funding available under the Strategic European Security Initiative (SESI), and the European Investment Fund’s (EIF) Defence Equity Facility.

Background information

EIB Group in Poland: Facts and Figures

  • Poland has consistently been one of the main beneficiaries of EIB Group financing. Last year, EIB Group investments of nearly €5.1 billion provided targeted financing for key Polish priorities.
    EIB  results in 2023: Poland received €5.1 billion from EIB Group in 2023 to bolster economy
  • Overall, the EIB has invested nearly €100 billion in financing for projects that improve people’s lives and that support the country’s economy.

The European Investment Bank (ElB) 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.

The EIB Group, which also includes the European Investment Fund (EIF), signed a total of €88 billion in new financing for over 900 projects in 2023.

These commitments are expected to mobilise around €320 billion in investment, supporting 400,000 companies and 5.4 million jobs.

Under its Climate Bank Roadmap, over half of the EIB Group’s annual financing supports projects directly contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and a healthier environment.

Approximately half of the EIB's financing within the EU is directed towards cohesion regions, where per capita income is lower. This key priority underscores the Bank's commitment to fostering inclusive growth and the convergence of living standards.

About Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego BGK:

BGK is the Polish development bank,  supporting sustainable social and economic growth in the country. It initiates and facilitates cooperation between businesses, the public sector, and financial institutions. The bank also finances infrastructural investment projects, provide Poles with greater access to the housing market and supports the activity of Polish companies, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, it cooperates with other financial institutions on a partnership basis, while complementing their offer.