The European Investment Bank is the EU’s long-term financing institution. It provides funding aiming to support quality investments to achieve the main objectives of the EU. It is mainly involved in the EU Member States.
However, it devotes almost 10% of its loans to projects in countries outside the EU. A part of the EIB external financing operations benefits from a guarantee of the EU budget, as defined under the external mandates for EIB activities in different regions of the world. Linked to the EIB external financing operations, this guarantee is established in the framework of the European Parliament and the Council decisions. The latest decision on the EIB financing operations under the period 2007-2013 required a new proposal on the determination of the EU guarantee for 2014-2020.
Thus, the Commission’s proposal seeks to ensure the continuity of the EU guarantee in order to fund the EIB external operations in the seven coming years. It is the object of a negotiating mandate reached on October 9, 2013 by the Council to begin talks with the Commission and the Parliament for a first reading agreement on the proposal.
The European Investment Bank is the largest supranational funder in the world, it provides funding for projects that help increase employment opportunities and growth, technical assistance to projects in areas such as development of the local private sector, including assistance to small and medium enterprises, economic and social infrastructure and mitigation of climate change.
To enable the EIB to finance these projects, the new decision will provide a ceiling for the EU guarantee for the EIB financing operations, stood at 28 billion euro and divided into two parts: a fixed ceiling with a maximum envelope of 25 billion euro, and a 3 billion optional additional envelope. It also plans to harmonize the EIB financing with the EU foreign policy.
Mediterranean countries, the main partners of the EIB
Besides its presence in the EU candidate countries, the European Investment Bank is present in Mediterranean countries through the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). This Facility gathers the whole instruments available in Mediterranean countries. With billions Euros of support to the 9 partner countries, the EIB is the reference for the financial and economic partnership between EU and the Mediterranean region. FEMIP allowed the financing of many project in topics such as industry, agriculture, energy, health, education and new technologies. With a new financing of 1 billion euro in 2012, Morocco is the main beneficiary. Actually, this country beneficiated from fundings to grant some emblematic project: solar power stations and the renovation of historical quarters. The future of this instrument should be discussed during the negotiations on the EU guarantee.