Four ways in which the Lisbon Treaty changes things for the EIB
- Dec 1, 2009
Now that the Czech Republic has ratified the Lisbon Treaty, it enters into force on 1st December, 2009, as does the new EIB Statute annexed to the Treaty. The new Statute contains four main changes for the Bank:
A wider range of financial instruments
As well as its customary loans and guarantees, the Bank will now be able to take equity participations more easily and grant technical assistance, as provided for in new Article 18 in particular.
Greater scope for managing risk
The Member States have asked the Bank to increase its value added by taking more risk. Article 16 in particular gives it the legal ability to do so:
- The Bank will now be able to grant loans on the sole basis of the borrower's financial strength more easily (so-called "single signature" loans)
- The Board of Directors will be able to decide by qualified majority on the terms and conditions of any financing operation presenting a particular risk profile
- The formula for calculating the maximum amount of finance that can be granted by the Bank in relation to the subscribed capital (the gearing ratio) has been made more flexible.
To be able to take more risk, the Bank also needs to be able to make decisions more quickly. Article 19 enables the Management Committee to take all necessary emergency measures when an operation is being restructured. At the same time, the Bank will now be able to establish subsidiaries or other entities provided with legal personality and financial autonomy like the EIF (Article 28).
However, risk must be taken responsibly. Article 12 strengthens the Audit Committee, which increases from three to six members, while Article 25 strengthens the rights of the staff in the event that the Bank is wound up.