The EIB invested an unprecedented EUR 1.37bn in France between 12 and 16 May. Projects supported include the refurbishment of schools, investment in France’s small businesses, a motorway and sustainable public transport initiatives. These will all contribute to employment, social cohesion and economic development for the future.

EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive signed loans worth EUR 700m for the refurbishment and modernisation of schools and regional training facilities in Midi-Pyrénées, for EUR 200m, and Rhône-Alpes, for EUR 500m.

Credit lines to support small and medium enterprises in France were also formally signed, EUR 300m with BPCE Group and a further EUR 100m with Crédit Coopératif Group.

In the region of Champagne-Ardenne, the Vice-President signed a EUR 100m loan to support the construction of the A304 motorway, which will eventually form part of the system linking Reims with Charleroi in Belgium, itself part of the vital Trans-European Transport Networks.

In the South of France, meanwhile,  EIB loans of EUR 130m and EUR 44m will go towards improving rail capacity in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and the metro and public transport services in Marseille respectively. The latter is part of a larger transport programme in the city.