>@Caroline Martin/EIB

On his first visit to the EIB, Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Eduard Heger was welcomed as new Chairman of the EIB Board of Governors by EIB President Werner Hoyer.

The EIB President presented the key priorities of the EIB Group and highlighted how the EU Bank mobilised efforts to implement a rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis across Europe and support a green and digital recovery. He outlined the new European Guarantee Fund as the EIB Group’s key contribution to the EU economic package to fight the pandemic and its impact.

The EIB and Slovak delegations discussed their long-standing cooperation to foster economic and social cohesion and more recently to support a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova confirmed the EIB Group’s continuous commitment to support the transition towards a carbon neutral Europe, notably through the Just Transition Mechanism to finance green investment in the EU in sectors such as energy, environment, digital and transport connectivity. She also stressed that cohesion was one of the original raisons d’être of the Bank with €88 billion of financing provided over the last five years to EU cohesion regions.

Minister Heger was accompanied by Ivan Lesay, CEO of Slovak Investment Holding (SIH) and a Member of the EIB Board of Directors. During today’s meeting he and EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova signed a new agreement that will support Slovak Investment Holding (SIH) in delivering more energy efficiency investments.

This agreement, funded by the European Investment Advisory Hub, will enable SIH to further enhance its advisory capacity by recruiting additional expertise in the field of sustainable investments and energy efficiency. EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova highlighted the key role that this new collaboration with SIH will play to support the transition of Slovakia towards a low carbon economy and how such initiatives are essential to deliver the EU Green Deal.