European Investment Bank
|Type||International financial institution|
|Mission||EU's long-term lending institution|
|Owner||EU member states|
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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's nonprofit long-term lending institution established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. As a "policy-driven bank" whose shareholders are the member states of the EU, the EIB uses its financing operations to bring about "European integration and social cohesion". It should not be confused with the European Central Bank.
The EIB is a publicly owned international financial institution and its shareholders are the member states of the European Union. Thus the member states set the bank's broad policy goals and oversee the independent decision-making bodies: the board of governors and the board of directors.
The European Investment Bank was founded in Brussels in 1958 when the Treaty of Rome came into force. It relocated to Luxembourg, its current headquarters, in 1968. By 1999, it had more than 1,000 staff members, a figure that had nearly doubled by 2012; when the EIB was founded in 1958 it had 66 employees.
The EIB Group was formed in 2000, comprising the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF), the EU's venture capital arm that provides finances and guarantees for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The EIB is the EIF's majority shareholder, with 62% of the shares. In 2012, the EIB Institute was created, with the goal of promoting "European initiatives for the common good" in EU Member States and candidate and potential candidate countries, as well as EFTA nations.
The total subscribed capital of the Bank was EUR 232 billion in 2012. The capital of the EIB was virtually doubled between 2007 and 2009 in response to the crisis. The EU heads of government agreed to increase paid-in capital by EUR 10 billion in June 2012, with implementation expected in early 2013.
For the fiscal year 2011, EIB lent EUR 61 billion in various loan products, bringing total outstanding loans to EUR 395 billion; one-third higher than at the end of 2008. Nearly 90% of these were with EU member states with the remainder dispersed between around 150 "partner countries" (in southern and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific). The bank uses its AAA credit rating and funds itself by raising equivalent amounts on the capital markets.
As the "Bank of the European Union", the EIB's mission is to make a difference to the future of Europe and its partners by supporting sound investments which further EU policy goals.
Although about 90 percent of projects financed by the EIB are based in EU member countries, the bank does fund projects in about 150 other countries: non-EU south-eastern European countries, Mediterranean partner countries, ACP countries, Asian and Latin American countries, Russia and other eastern neighbours of the EU. According to the EIB, it works in these countries to implement the financial pillar of the union's external cooperation and development policies by encouraging private sector development, infrastructure development, security of energy supply and environmental sustainability.
- To finance viable capital projects which further EU objectives
- To borrow on the capital markets to finance these projects
Lending strategy within the EU
Within the EU the EIB has six priority objectives:
- Cohesion and convergence (regional policy)
- Support for small and medium-sized enterprises
- Environmental sustainability
- Knowledge economy
- Development of Trans-European Networks of transport and energy
- Sustainable, competitive, and secure energy supply
Lending strategy outside the EU
Outside the EU the EIB's priority objectives for lending activity are:
- Private sector development
- Financial sector development
- Infrastructure development
- Security of energy supply
- Environmental sustainability
- EU presence
When making loans outside the EU, the bank has lending mandates based on EU external cooperation and development policies, which differ from region to region.
- Pre-Accession: Candidate and Potential Candidate countries in the Enlargement region (states which could possibly join the EU)
- European Neighbourhood: Mediterranean Neighbourhood / Russia and Eastern Neighbours
- Development: Africa, Pacific and Caribbean (ACP) / Republic of South Africa
- Economic Cooperation: Asia and Latin America (ALA)
Within Pre-Accession countries activities support both the EU priority lending objectives and the objectives of the external mandates.
Transport Policy (renewed in 2011), Transparency Policy (renewed in 2010), Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, Governance at the EIB, Complaints Mechanism Policy (renewed in 2010), Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Policy, Integrity Policy and Compliance Charter, Statement on Environmental and Social Principles and Standards, EIB Whistleblowing Policy, EIB Policy towards weakly regulated, non-transparent and uncooperative jurisdictions
The EIB is governed by the:
- Board of Governors – usually the Finance Ministers of the Member States. Their mandate is to authorise EIB activities outside the Union, form credit policy guidelines and approve the annual accounts.
- Board of directors – 28 members (one nominated by each member state and one by the European Commission).:13–14 There are 18 Alternates,:13–14 meaning that some of these positions are shared by groups of states. The board also co-opts a maximum of 6 experts (3 Directors and 3 Alternates),:13–14 who participate in the Board meetings in an advisory capacity, without voting rights. The Board has sole power to take decisions in respect of loans, guarantees and borrowings. They are responsible only to the bank.
- Management committee – the President of the EIB and eight Vice-presidents
- Audit committee – 6 members appointed by the Board of Governors
The headquarters is situated at 100 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer in Kirchberg, Luxembourg. The building's first phase was designed by British architect Sir Denys Lasdun and is one of his few works outside the UK.
The EIB has offices in the different EU countries, including Athens, Belgrade, Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Fort-de-France, Martinique (one of France's overseas departments); Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw and Vienna.
Outside of the EU, it has offices in Kiev, Ukraine Ankara, Turkey; Beijing, China; Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Istanbul, Turkey; Nairobi, Kenya; Pretoria, South Africa; Rabat, Morocco; Sydney, Australia; and Tunis, Tunisia.
The EIB president is the head of the Management Committee, a nine-member executive body that is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the EIB. They are "appointed by the EIB's Board of Governors, on a proposal from the board of directors", for a renewable six-year term. The is also the chair of the board of directors.
Former presidents are:
- Philippe Maystadt (Belgium), March 2000 – December 2011
- Sir Brian Unwin (UK), April 1993 – December 1999
- Ernst-Günther Bröder (Germany), August 1984 – March 1993
- Yves Le Portz (France), September 1970 – July 1984
- Paride Formentini (Italy), June 1959 – September 1970
- Pietro Campilli (Italy), February 1958 – May 1959
There are a number of projects financed or under the appraisal procedure by the EIB that have raised objections from local communities as well as international and national NGOs. Below are examples of current or recently approved controversial projects: M10 Motorway in Russia, the Gazela Bridge in Serbia, Sava Bridge in Croatia, D1 Motorway in the Slovakia, Sostanj Power Plant in Slovenia, Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Plant in Uganda, Mopani Copper Mine in Zambia, among others.
The Transparency Policy of the EIB has been heavily criticised by NGOs in the past. In 2004 Article 19 issued a memorandum in which it accused the EIB of failing to meet international (including EU) standards on openness. . However, NGOs acknowledge important improvements in EIB's transparency since 2004, and the new transparency policy adopted in 2010 is widely considered to be up to standards, reflecting international best practice. 
Notes and references
- European Investment Bank. "What Is the EIB?". FAQ – Structure and Organisation.
- "FAQ – Structure and Organisation". Eib.org. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Some Dates and Figures". European Investment Bank.
- "Who are the owners of the EIB Group?". FAQ – Structure and Organisation. European Investment Bank.
- "EIB Group: key statutory figures". Eib.org. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- EIB Operational Plan 2012–2014 http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publications/all/operational-plan-2012-2014.htm
- "In which countries is the EIB active?". FAQ – Activities. European Investment Bank.
- Statute of the European Investment Bank (and other provisions) (PDF). EIB. 1 December 2009. ISBN 978-92-861-1003-0). Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- The alternates are nominated as follows:
- 2 by Germany
- 2 by France
- 2 by Italy
- 2 by the UK
- 1 jointly by Spain and Portugal
- 1 jointly by Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
- 2 jointly by Denmark, Greece, Ireland and Romania
- Ex-post evaluation (17 October 2011). "Building". Eib.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Ex-post evaluation (17 October 2011). "EIB Group addresses". Eib.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press Release – Eur 100 million EIB loan support to kemira research in Finland". Europa.eu. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "The Management Committee". About > Structure > Governance. European Investment Bank. 9.
- "Werner Hoyer takes office as EIB President". EIB Press Release. 21 December 2011.
- "Faster... but smarter or more destructive?". Scribd.com. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Transparency and the European Investment Bank ". Clientearth.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Going After Uganda's Big, Bad Dam Investors". International Rivers. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "NGOs Criticize EIB on Transparency, Other Grounds". Freedom Info. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Ex-post evaluation. "EIB Transparency Policy". Eib.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "The EIB Complaints Mechanism". Eib.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
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- Official site of the European Investment Bank
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- CEE Bankwatch Network's Information pages about European Investment Bank