According to Jean-Claude Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank, the EIB is playing an “important” role helping the European economy adapt to new realities. He also underlines the support we have given small and medium sized businesses during and since the crisis.

“We are experiencing a structural adaptation episode” was how Mr Trichet summarised the challenges facing the world economy. In the European context, he said the EIB is doing a “very good job” helping with this process. He added that creating a strong institutional framework was an important part of reforming the way economies are managed.

Talking about the EIB’s role he said: “[the bank] did that very well before the crisis. In the crisis it was able to step in and I was particularly happy to see the extent to which activity in the direction of small and medium sized enterprises was developed. This was one of the major achievements of the EIB.”

Mr Trichet made these comments at EIB headquarters on 6 March before giving a speech entitled “Governance of the Euro Area - Towards an Economic and Fiscal Federation by Exception”.