The European Union’s finance ministers have endorsed the European Investment Bank’s engagement in the Juncker Plan as the bank announces early delivery on lending targets
At the extraordinary meeting of the EIB Group’s Board of Governors in Brussels, the ministers – who are the bank’s shareholders – welcomed the proposal for the bank to manage the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) under the Investment Plan for Europe announced by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last November.
The fund is intended to support €315bn of new investment across Europe over the next three years.
EIB group president Werner Hoyer reported that overall EIB lending activity in 2014 amounted to nearly €77bn, with an additional €3.3bn granted by the European Investment Fund (EIF) to SMEs.
The EIB will reach its target for additional lending under the capital increase granted to the bank by the member states for 2013-2015 in the spring of this year, over six months earlier than anticipated.
In addition to its regular lending activity, the €10bn capital increase will allow the bank to finance projects worth around €180bn in total in advance of the end-of-the-year deadline.
"The new Investment Plan builds upon the EIB’s unique lending and advisory experience, and has the potential to mobilise private investment crucial for Europe’s competitiveness" said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance of the Netherlands and Chairman of the EIB’s Board of Governors.
"The EU Bank is ready to play its part, and will now concentrate on launching the first projects under the Investment Plan already in the coming months," added Hoyer.