Boosting energy and transport projects in the european NeighbourhoodMarch 18, 2013
Funding Scheme: 2013-03-18
The European Commission approved a new fund aiming to set up a 200 million of euro Neighbourhood Investment Facility. This new fund should boost the investments from the EU development banks and thus allow competitive financing for projects in the energy and transport sector, establishing an interconnection between the EU and neighbouring countries and among neighbouring countries themselves, and for projects aiming to fight against global warming and to support growth and small businesses.
The Neighbourhood Investment Facility brings together grants from the European Commission and the EU Member States with loans from European public finance institutions, as well as contributions from the partner countries. It helps to support the EU’s neighbours in carrying out necessary infrastructure projects.
Projects funded in 2012 covered a wide range of initiatives and sectors, among others, a small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Guarantee Facility in the Southern Neighbourhood, the modernisation of border crossing points in Armenia, support for the electrical transport network in Morocco as well as for a Green for Growth Fund, which will provide refinancing via local financial institutions for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energies to SMEs and households in the Eastern Neighbourhood countries.
The Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) was officially launched in May 2008 in order to strengthen overall EU grant support for lending operations carried out by European multilateral and bilateral development finance institutions in the European Neighbourhood countries.
Up until now, the NIF has supported 69 projects representing a total investment of about €18,4 billion.
€745 million have been foreseen for the period of 2007-2013, out of which €545 million have been already allocated. Today’s new allocation amounts to an additional €200 million. The EU Budget contribution is complemented by pledged contributions from 15 Member States, which reached €70 million in 2011.
The NIF operations focus on those Eastern and Southern neighbouring countries which have already signed the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) action plan with the European Union. Nevertheless, other neighbouring countries may also benefit from NIF grants on a case by case basis, for example when it comes to projects of a cross-border or regional nature.
Url description: European Commission Press