The EIB joined the 16th annual UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2021), which takes place this year in Katowice, Poland, from 6-10 December under the overarching theme Internet United.

As the event promoters explain, during the COVID-19 crisis, the internet proved to be key in organising our lives to an extent that we could never have foreseen just a short time ago. This has only confirmed what an important and valuable part of our lives it has become. We are living in a digital world, and we need freedom, openness and security.

EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska participated in the High-Level Leaders Track: Investing in digital growth and enabling capacities – transnational and transcontinental synergies.

The panel focused on the challenges of achieving effective digitalisation: how to exploit synergies and digital cooperation, and how to foster growth and create a favourable ecosystem for startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as they play a key role in the digital transformation.

“The EIB experience shows that digital technologies boost productivity and contribute to greater energy efficiency across a wide range of sectors. They enable faster scientific discoveries and better research, while also driving productivity through industry-wide applications such as improved human-robot collaboration, predictive maintenance, faster and more reliable design and quality control, and improved supply chain management. All in all, if approached wisely, digitalisation has the potential to offset some of the negative consequences of global megatrends, including changing demographics, urbanisation and climate change,” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska.


  1. Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister, Russian Federation (IGF 2025 host country)
  2. Mohamed Rahman Swaray, Minister of Information and Communications, Sierra Leone
  3. Huria Ali Mahdi, State Minister of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia (IGF 2022 host country)
  4. Teresa Czerwińska, Vice-President, European Investment Bank
  5. Maria Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General, Interim Head of Office, United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology
  6. Henri Verdier, Ambassador of France for Digital Technology