EIB President Werner Hoyer, and EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, participated in the 2nd Conference on Youth Employment in Europe. This was hosted by French President François Hollande, and attended by heads of states or governments from 24 of the EU's 28 member states. The conference took place in Paris on 12 November.
During this conference, President Hoyer underlined the EIB commitment to tackle youth employment in Europe alongside the Member States and the Commission.
In July 2013 in Berlin, the EIB launched the "Skills and Jobs - Investing for Youth" initiative to complement youth employment policies at EU and Member State level. This programme is focused on financing of facilities for vocational training, student and apprentice mobility, and aims to address the shortage of jobs for young people in smaller companies.
This is the Bank’s first ever dedicated lending programme to specifically support young people.
In only a few months, the Bank´s endeavours are showing tangible results. The Bank has already approved investments of EUR 4.9 billion within the two pillars of this initiative. To support and improve skills, the EIB Board allocated EUR 2.2 billion in loans for projects in France, Spain and Ireland. The majority of these have targeted secondary and tertiary vocational training facilities and programmes.
The Bank has also concentrated its efforts on prioritising credit lines for SMEs in regions with youth unemployment of over 25%, aligning us closely with the guidelines of the Youth Employment Initiative and the Youth Guarantee. By the end of October, EUR 2.7 billion had been allocated to youth-employing SMEs in these regions.
The President reaffirmed in his speech that, while the EIB cannot solve the problem alone, youth employment will continue to be a priority for the EU Bank: "We repeat our offer to further maximise the impact of the Youth Employment Initiative and the EIB’s youth employment programme. It therefore makes a lot of sense for the EU Commission and the EIB to join forces in the implementation of new financial instruments that are tailor-made for creating badly needed jobs for young people.”
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.