A new initiative to support regions outside of Europe significantly affected by the refugee crisis is being presented by EIB President Werner Hoyer at today’s European Council in Brussels. The initiative to build resilience in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans regions was requested by the leaders of EU member states in March. President Hoyer will lay out a detailed proposal on how the EIB can step up its support and address the pressing needs of the regions with action to support growth, jobs vital infrastructure and social cohesion.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Werner Hoyer said, “The current refugee crisis and in the longer term, migration represent humanitarian and developmental challenges both in the European Union and its neighbourhood. The EU must offer concrete solutions and not ideas. This is where the EU bank with our experience and expertise believe we can help. Of course this should be done in close cooperation and coordination with International Financial Institutions and other financiers, and we are well placed to provide leadership if Heads of States and Governments wish. It is crucial that Europe supports countries in its neighbourhood who are hosting large numbers of refugees. It is about building economic resilience: supporting key infrastructure in these countries - schools, healthcare and basic services like water and energy. But it is also about supporting the private sector and entrepreneurship which will provide jobs and opportunities."

He added, "I very much support the recent announcement from the European Commission and HRVP Frederica Mogherini on an Investment Plan outside of Europe. Our current proposal is fully complementary with the most welcome recent announcements from  the European Commission and HRVP Frederica Mogherini on an Investment Plan outside of Europe. Indeed, it can be seen as a concrete “first step” to deliver on Europe's plan to tackle the broader challenge of migration and improve the EU’s development and external investment impact. This is a huge challenge over time. It is a marathon, but it must start with a sprint. We need to act now, and the EIB is ready to start.”

President Hoyer, who is seeking formal endorsement from the European Council today will stress that in order to deliver an extra EUR 15 billion of funding, the EIB’s External Lending Mandate will need to be extended and a part of the lending needs would need to be accompanied by grant financing.

For more information

Tackling Global challenges together: See how the EIB is already supporting resilience, entrepreneurship and job creation in Jordan, one of the countries most affected by the influx of refugees.

  • Microfund for Women (video): The first EIB backed microfinance operation in Jordan for EIB, made possible by EU grants. Watch the video to find out more.
  • Badia Impact Fund (video): EIB supported SiliconBadia is providing loans and advisory services to tech and youth start-ups in Jordan. SiliconBadia’s Emile Cubeisy explains in this short video.
  • Investing in women and a future for Jordan (story): The EIB is helping to create opportunities in countries in North Africa and the Middle East by backing entrepreneurship and microenterprises – particularly among women, and young people. This, and investment in key infrastructure is helping to support  “economic resilience”  in countries hosting numbers of refugeees. Find more on our story.