Strengthened cooperation between EU institutions and the “EU Bank” in external regions
16 September 2013
President Hoyer and European Commissioner Rehn signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the External Lending Mandate (ELM) at the Informal Ecofin in Vilnius.
The MoU aims at increasing cooperation between the EIB, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) and ensuring that the EIB, as the “EU Bank”, supports EU external policies.
Regular and systematic dialogue at a strategic level, already provided for between the Commission and the EIB, will be extended to the EEAS. This specifically includes high-level meetings between the European Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the EIB President. At the same time, the MoU introduces the involvement of EIB in the preparation of third country summits.
Other changes include the replacement of the Steering Committee in the former MoU by strengthened cooperation at geographical level, with meetings per region among the three institutions foreseen at least once a year. References to blending EIB financing with EU budgetary resources have also been strengthened.
The challenge for all three participants will now be to bring life to the MoU, and to fully implement its provisions. In so doing, it would be another step towards the EIB being recognised as the “EU Bank” also outside the EU, in the midst of negotiations for the next External Mandate 2014-2020.