In 2016 the EIB Group provided funding totalling over EUR 83.8 billion to support investment across Europe and around the world. This will help finance projects worth around 280 billion euro. The European Investment Bank (EIB) expects 2017 to be another strong year, building on its robust performance in 2016. The Board of Governors welcomed EIB´s role in strengthening competitiveness and boosting growth and jobs and approved the bank’s accounts for last year.

The Governors highlighted the importance of the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) in supporting job creation and stimulating investment in Europe. The Board welcomed the planned prolongation and increase of the Investment Plan for Europe to up to EUR 500bn by 2020 and congratulated the EIB Group for driving the Plan in partnership with the European Commission. Under the IPE the EIB Group, which consists of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has approved financing worth 36.9 billion euro so far. These initiatives will benefit from a guarantee from the EU budget, and they are expected to mobilise additional investment of 194 billion euros, or 62% of the 315 billion euro target.

EIB President Hoyer said: “The EIB has delivered a strong performance in 2016. We have had a clear role in helping stimulate private investment after Europe’s long financial and economic crisis. Europe still suffers from a serious investment gap, but there are encouraging signs. A great majority of European companies are now planning to invest more next year than the last.”

President Hoyer added, “The Investment Plan for Europe is a turning point, a paradigm shift in the use of scarce resources to mobilise private investment. It has allowed the EU Bank to develop new products, reach new clients, and provide financing for smaller, more innovative and complex projects. It has also allowed us better to blend EIB loans and EIF guarantees with EU budget instruments like structural funds.”

But he also stressed, regarding the upcoming EFSI negotiations between the Council and the Parliament: “We have established a governance structure for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the guarantee that underpins the Investment Plan, which is parallel to the normal EIB governance structure. This system works well. If EFSI governance is made more complex or more political, we jeopardise the Plan’s ability to crowd-in private investment effectively. By fixing problems that we do not have we risk creating new, very real ones.”

The Board of Governors unanimously elected Mário Centeno, Portugal´s Finance Minister, as the new Chairman of the European Investment Bank’s Board of Governors. He replaces Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki following completion of his 12 month tenure.