Vice-President Pavlova’s speech at the Ministerial Meeting on the Territorial Agenda

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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to join you this morning and discuss with you a topic that addresses such an important aspect of Europe’s future – the implementation of the Territorial Agenda 2030.

The EIB welcomes the Agenda 2030 as a new positive narrative for the future of the EU. It provides important orientation and guidance for a balanced territorial development, particularly by addressing market failures and sub-optimal investment situations in less developed regions.

For more than 60 years already, the EU Bank has been supporting countries and regions in tackling territorial inequalities and cohesion. We are going to continue to do so by devoting a substantial share of our financing to successfully implement the Agenda. The EIB supports plan-led, balanced territorial development in a large number of regional and urban multi-sector framework loans, which often contain thousands of smaller investment projects in all kinds of sectors that matter for regional competitiveness and quality of life. This happens through the support of job and education opportunities, of access to public infrastructure and services, of a healthy and sustainable environment, as well as through enabling a thriving economy across the whole European Union.

For example, in Poland, EIB urban framework loans have in several cases supported investment with a functional area approach building on the instrument of Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) established in various metropolitan areas, for example in Rszesow, Bydgoszcz, Torun and across Silesia.

Moreover, the EIB advisory services play a key role in overcoming capacity constraints in public sector projects.

Against this background, we are determined

  • to play an active role in financing sustainable investments of all sizes in areas covered by the Territorial Agenda 2030
  • to reflect the Territorial Agenda priorities in our lending, grant-loan blending and advisory services approach
  • and to contribute to pilot actions.

We will live up to our commitment

  • by supporting the development of better funding approaches in the territorial context and offering a “reality check” to them;
  • by sharing our best practice experience across Europe; 
  • by helping to tackle gaps in the project preparation and implementation process, thus helping projects to become economically, technically and financially viable.

While the Territorial Agenda 2030 aims to reduce spatial inequalities, it also works towards a greener Europe. We, as the EU’s climate bank, welcome this “green” argument of the Agenda.

Ensuring a just and green transition to an environmentally friendly and climate neutral society is of strategic importance for the EIB. Only last month our Board of Directors, composed of representatives from the EU member states, approved unanimously the Climate Bank Roadmap. It sets out in detail how we aim to support the objectives of the European Green Deal and sustainable development outside the European Union.

  • In the decade to 2030 we aim to support €1 trillion in investment for climate action and environmental sustainability.
  • EIB will gradually increase the share of its financing dedicated to climate action and environmental sustainability to reach 50% of its operations from 2025 on;
  • The EIB Group will align all its financing activities with the principles and goals of the Paris agreement by the end of this year.

These very ambitious targets will be complemented by measures supporting a just transition for regions and countries particularly affected by the transition to environmentally friendly society.

In the context of the Just Transition, the Just and Green Europe objectives come together and mutually reinforce each other leaving no one behind.

The EIB Group participates in all three Pillars of the Just Transition Mechanism and will trigger additional investment in the following ways:

  • First, the EIB offers to co-finance investments under the Just Transition Fund (Pillar 1) in the same way as we co-finance investment supported by Structural Funds.
  • Second, as the main financing partner of the InvestEU programme, the EIB will be strongly involved in the implementation of the Just Transition Scheme under Invest EU (Pillar 2). Dedicated EIB products may for example offer some special “just transition opportunities”.
  • Third, the EIB will provide lending under the public sector loan facility (Pillar 3) to support national and regional authorities. These loans will be complemented by grants from the EU budget. The facility will be used for investments in energy and transport infrastructure, social infrastructure, district heating networks, renovation and insulation of buildings, among others.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me conclude by saying that in this time of uncertainty and difficult economic circumstances, the EIB welcomes the Territorial Agenda 2030 and is ready more than ever to support regions and countries to put the Agenda into practice and drive a just and green recovery. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss this very important topic with you today. Thanks to all involved in the development process of the new Territorial Agenda and congratulation for the constructive work done.  

Thank you for your attention and enjoy the rest of the session