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    What is enlargement?

    Today, there are 27 countries in the European Union. Enlargement is when a new country joins the EU, after fulfilling the membership criteria and completing an accession process. This process can take many years and has three major steps: candidacy, membership negotiations and accession.

    Our work in enlargement countries focuses on:

    • healthcare
    • education
    • research and development
    • private sector development
    • public infrastructure

    We work closely with the European Commission, blending our loans with EU grants to achieve an optimal financing package. For the last two decades, financing foreign direct investment receives particular emphasis and support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) via our local partner banks.

    We provide large project loans directly to public and private sector bodies. SMEs and regional authorities are also supported via intermediated loans, as well as microfinance is managed by our network of local partner banks. SMEs can also benefit from equity and debt funding via the European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the EIB Group. Our guarantees help mobilise resources from other sources and our technical assistance helps promoters use funding effectively.