The European Investment Bank is assisting in developing a quick-start programme of projects with the European Commission that will contribute to the European Union's new growth initiative. The Brussels' European Council of 16/17 October 2003 endorsed the principles for the EIB's contribution to European Union's new Growth Initiative as well as the interim report presented by the ECOFIN council of 7 October. This Initiative is consistent with the Stability and Growth Pact, the current Financial Perspective ceilings and in line with the commitments in the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines.

The Brussels' European Council in its conclusions invited the EIB, as well as the Commission and the relevant formations of the Council, to establish a quick-start programme. They are to identify a list of projects which assesses their significance for the integration of the internal market in the enlarged Europe, their economic and financial viability, their impact on growth and the leveraging effect on private capital.

The EIB and the Commission were also asked to present, in time for thorough preparation by the Economic and Financial Committee of the 25 November ECOFIN Council meeting, their final report on their supporting actions for the Growth Initiative. These reports should in particular:

  • explore how best to increase the involvement of the private sector in financing projects, including the use of the EIB's Structured Finance Facility  as a follow up and development of the Bank's initial proposals for the ECOFIN of 15 July 2003. The report for ECOFIN summarises the Bank's main findings, and outlines additional measures and potential for reinforcing support for TENs, and for European Research Development and Innovation (RDI);
  • develop instruments aiming at leveraging private capital, in particular through the securitisation of existing assets, and examine which assets could be used for such purposes;
  • develop better coordination of procedures between EIB financing, Structural Funds, the TENs budget line and the Sixth Framework Programme;
  • establish a framework for a comprehensive evaluation of the Initiative after 5 years.