The President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, attended the conference “Europe: Next Steps” organised by the Berggruen Institute on Governance in Paris on 28 May.
During a panel discussion entitled “Growth Initiatives for Europe”, the President stated that the EIB is stepping up its lending activities significantly for the 2013 to 2015 period in order to support growth and jobs in Europe. He underlined that fighting youth unemployment is a key priority for the EIB and that the Bank is working on new tailor-made financial products that will incentivise companies to recruit young people and put them in vocational training schemes.
President Hoyer also made it clear that the EIB is not a panacea. Instead, Europe needs a concerted approach of all relevant EU institutions, the Member States and the private sector. Initiatives such as the conference in Paris and the planned job summit by the German chancellor Angela Merkel, scheduled for early July, are important steps to reach a joint and efficient European response.
Also on the panel were the German and French Finance ministers Wolfgang Schäuble and Pierre Moscovici and the German and French Ministers of Labour, Employment and Social Affairs, Ursula von der Leyen and Michel Sapin and Enrico Giovannini, the Italian Minister of Industry and Welfare. The opening keynote speech for the Town Hall meeting in Paris was given by François Hollande, President of the Republic of France.
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.