EIB President Werner Hoyer’s speech at the InvestEU roadshow event in Helsinki, Finland on 28 April 2022
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Dear Minister Lintilä,
Dear Madame Flores,
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is a pleasure to be here in Helsinki and to open on behalf of the EIB Group today’s InvestEU Roadshow event.
Let me express my gratitude to Minister Lintilä and our hosts. Joining the stage with Elena Flores is yet another sign of our great collaboration with the European Commission, who has entrusted the EIB Group to be the main implementing partner of InvestEU.
After two years of virtual meetings, we finally meet in person, to remind ourselves of the importance to unlock Europe’s economic potential…
…to emerge stronger from the pandemic and to master the green and digital transition.
This important endeavor has been overshadowed recently by the new geopolitical reality forced upon us.
Here in Finland, the EU Member State with the longest border with Russia, there is no need to lecture you about the dimensions of Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine. We are all shocked by the unspeakable atrocities, death and destruction inflicted on the Ukrainian people.
We at the EIB are firmly committed to do everything in our power to help in this dark time.
With the crucial support of the European Commission, the EIB Group has quickly disbursed a first financial support package of nearly €700 million for Ukraine with more to follow, and has pledged €4 billion for EU Member States welcoming Ukrainian refugees.
We stand ready as part of Team Europe to rebuild a free and democratic Ukraine after the war.
The impact of Russia’s aggression is felt – and will continue to be felt – far beyond the borders of Ukraine. Our decades-old international order has been shaken.
Here in Europe, the war is pressing us to protect our sovereignty and achieve strategic autonomy, with energy, technology but also food security at the forefront.
This has made Europe’s green and digital transitions only more urgent…while we face an ever-pressing need to make our economies resilient, competitive, fair and inclusive.
Indeed, there are many people who have been hiding, first, behind the virus and now behind the war to delay important investments in our future.
The truth is, however that our strive for more strategic autonomy and sustainable growth are two sides of the same coin.
Scaling up our investment in renewables, energy efficiency and – let me stress – new green technologies will help us
…to both tackle the climate crisis,
…and make our energy systems more independent from Russian energy imports.
Given the scale of investments needed, we cannot rely on the public sector only. The private sector will need to play a crucial role in this as well. We must, therefore, do whatever we can to crowd-in and channel private capital for these important investment projects.
At the EU Bank, we stand ready to play our part.
And: with InvestEU, we have a decisive instrument to make a difference.
…in order to reach a green, digital and fair European economy, investments and new projects can neither be prescribed by Brussels nor Luxembourg…
This is why we are hitting the road and meeting you here today…
… to bring InvestEU closer to action.
InvestEU builds on the successful model of the Juncker Plan…
…a true game changer when it was set-up in 2014.
Thanks to the great cooperation with the European Commission, and in particular Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, it unlocked hundreds of billions of private investment across the EU… while relying on a small amount of public money only.
As we jointly over-delivered on the Juncker plan over the years, this has, of course, raised expectations for InvestEU. We now aim to mobilise around €372 billion of public and private investments until 2027 to further boost investments in innovative and green solutions.
Investments that Europe needs… and that it needs urgently.
This morning we will be hearing much more on how the EIB group is going to deploy InvestEU. I hope that we can convince you that InvestEU is a perfect instrument to match national investment programs with EU policies and vice-versa
…and to ensure that Europe – and Finland – increasingly become attractive places for businesses to settle and thrive…
I look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation with Finland in this respect.
I wish you a pleasant morning and an inspiring event.