>@EIB/To be defined

The President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, today confirmed that Europe’s long-term lending institution, as an integral part of Europe´s response to the crisis, would maintain its increased lending activity to support investment that helps economic recovery, address unemployment and enhance Europe’s global competitiveness.

Addressing the annual meeting of the European Investment Bank’s Board of Governors, comprising the European Union’s 28 finance ministers, President Hoyer highlighted the importance of continued increased lending for SMEs, innovation, infrastructure and climate action. He confirmed that he expected lending by the EIB, the world’s largest multilateral lending institution, over the next two years to be similar to the EUR 72 billion provided for long-term investment in 2013.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment that strengthens Europe’s economic recovery and global competitiveness. As the EU Bank we recognise that different challenges and investment priorities exist across different member states. The firm support and confidence shown by the unanimous support of all shareholders for the recent EIB’s capital increase has established new targets. I am pleased that we have not only successfully delivered increased targeted support for SME lending and investment that helps address youth unemployment, but also continue to help unlock private investment essential for crucial infrastructure.” said European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer.

He also used the occasion to raise awareness about Europe´s challenges looking beyond the crisis. “Of course, we have to continue our path of financial discipline, structural reform and provision of counter-cyclical public financial support where companies are faced with investment gaps. However, we have reached a point where we should now shift our focus from crisis management to ensuring Europe´s future position in a globalized world.” The President emphasised that Europe, given the global competition, should initiate real structural change: “We need to enhance Europe´s long-term growth potential by supporting investment in research, development, innovation and infrastructure.”

The Board of Governors’ meeting also allowed President Hoyer to provide an update on the bank’s capital market funding and triple-A rating and expected developments following the capital increase of the European Investment Fund. Reinforcing the financing capacity of the EIF, majority owned by the EIB, will allow a significant expansion of EIF activity from 2014 onwards.

In addition President Hoyer confirmed the crucial role of EIB lending outside Europe. Around 10% of overall EIB lending supports long-term investment in projects outside Europe that contribute to stability, economic growth and European interests. Last year EIB lending outside Europe represented EUR 7 billion.

The Board of Governors meeting also appointed Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem as new Chairman and thanked Maltese Finance Minister Edward Sciculuna for his valuable contribution as past Chairman.