The ground under our feet is shifting as we head into 2019. The direction of the EIB Group is particularly linked to two fast-moving and significant events:
- The conclusion of negotiations with the UK to withdraw from the EU. Brexit is the main near-term challenge for the EU, and its impact will vary across Member States. As the UK is a major shareholder in the EIB, the potential consequences of Brexit on the EIB are significant.
- The outcome of discussions on the EIB’s role in the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 and the related legislative process.
The EIB Group, as the EU’s investment vehicle, plays an integral part in addressing market failures and investment gaps through the creation of impact and additionality in the European economy. The 2019 Operational Plan illustrates how the EIB Group is providing financing to support EU policy goals for competitiveness, social cohesion and climate action inside and outside the EU. We must ensure that our activities remain financially sustainable. Therefore, performance targets and other orientations must be aligned with currently sustainable levels, while allowing for flexibility in these uncertain times.
This Operational Plan tells you what to expect from the EIB Group in 2019. The highlights are:
- A new financing target of €63 billion. This target assumes that the UK’s subscribed capital expected to be withdrawn as a result of Brexit will be replaced.
- A continued substantial role in implementing EU policy initiatives, especially the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is mobilising significant private financing for key European projects.
- The higher-risk “Special Activities” business line, which includes projects linked to EFSI, will continue to push us beyond our traditional customers and markets.
- Advisory Services will remain an important part of our offerings. We anticipate 530 new assignments in 2019, to support €35 billion in investments.
- A commitment to dedicate at least 25% of new financing to climate projects annually, and to increase the share of financing for climate action in developing countries to 35%. Our efforts in infrastructure will continue, with a particular focus on projects that reduce waste, preserve resources and support the environment.
- Ambitious targets for financing small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps, with an increasing share directed to innovative enterprises. Together with financing from the European Investment Fund, the EIB Group’s support for small businesses could exceed €22 billion in 2019.
The EIB Group’s Operational Plan for 2019 balances a degree of caution and prudent risk management with a lending program that is imaginative and ambitious enough to make a real impact on social cohesion, competitiveness and climate.