EIB President Hoyer talks post-pandemic recovery with President Macron and Paris Peace Forum
20 July 2021
Werner Hoyer, EIB President, joined the French president Emmanuel Macron and other leading figures from business and civil society in Paris today to discuss global cooperation on the post-pandemic recovery.
The discussions took place at a lunchtime meeting of the Paris Peace Forum’s partners. The Paris Peace Forum organises an annual event dedicated to issues of global governance. Its partners include think tanks, foundations and NGOs from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sciences Po university.
The EIB has actively supported businesses and the health sector throughout the pandemic. The EIB has approved more than €56 billion to combat the COVID-19 crisis, including targeted support for businesses and investments in public health and vaccines. A €100 million loan last year to the German firm BioNTech, for example, helped bring one of the most successful vaccines to the market by providing funding for trials and manufacturing. In addition, the European Guarantee Fund, backed by €25 billion in guarantees from EU members, is expected to mobilise up to €200 billion for companies that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
The EIB has also approved more than €6.5 billion of new financing to strengthen health and economic resilience outside the European Union, including €600 million for the COVAX initiative, which has delivered life-saving vaccines to over 100 countries worldwide. It has launched the Sustainable Healthcare Industry for Resilience in Africa, or SHIRA: a financing platform to support health security and resilience in Africa for private sector investment in health manufacturing and supply capacity in Africa, for Africa. As part of Team Europe, The EIB has also partnered with other development institutions and the Government of Senegal to support the manufacturing of vaccines in Africa, for Africa.
In 2020, The EIB invested over €9.3 billion outside the European Union, and a record €5 billion in Africa. Over 70% of our investments in Sub-Saharan Africa were in least developed countries and Fragile States.
While The EIB has focused enormous energy on the immediate crisis, it hasn’t lost sight of long-term, global priorities. The investments the Bank is funding will spur the recovery and also serve the EU’s ambitious plans to build back better and create a more sustainable, more inclusive, digitally advanced and carbon neutral economy. New investment in energy, technology, infrastructure, innovation and cohesion is vital for Europe’s future security, prosperity and competitiveness, for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and to meet the Paris Agreement objectives.
“We know this from previous transitions: transformation is tough. It requires time, huge investment, and clarity of purpose”, said President Hoyer.
These ambitious goals require not only technology, but also social transformation. We must support the most vulnerable people, businesses, and territories everywhere in the world to grasp the opportunities of change. Because climate, innovation and development are inseparable parts of one debate.
By 2050, the European Union is meant to achieve climate neutrality, or net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Clean hydrogen can be a key factor in reducing emissions in the transport sector and in industry, becoming a green energy source for these difficult areas of the economy. According to forecasts, hydrogen technologies will be viable within 5 to 10 years. An advisory agreement signed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Polish Cluster of Hydrogen Technologies will support the roll-out of clean hydrogen technologies in the country.
The heaviest rainfall in a hundred years has caused devastating floods in Luxembourg, our host country, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The number of casualties is still uncertain but it is clear that many dozens of people have died, many more are missing, and that tens of thousands of people have had their homes and businesses destroyed. At the EIB, our thoughts go to the victims of this catastrophe.