EIB’s role in tackling the migration crisis to be strengthened
- New objective to address root causes of migration
- €5.3 billion more for financing operations under EU guarantee
- Private sector operations linked to refugees to benefit the most
Budget committee members on Monday approved a provisional agreement with the Council to boost the EIB’s External Lending Mandate (ELM).
The EU provides a budgetary guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) with a maximum ceiling of €30 billion – €27 billion plus an optional additional amount of €3 billion. The provisional agreement between Parliament and Council releases the optional €3 billion and raises the ceiling by an additional €2.3 billion for EIB financing operations to the private sector applicable to projects in support of refugees.
It also adds a fourth high-level objective for the EIB’s external lending mandate addressing root causes of migration: “Improving the long-term economic resilience of refugees, migrants, host and transit communities and communities of origin as a strategic response to addressing root causes of migration should be added as a new objective supported by the EU guarantee”, the agreed text says.
Prevention of money laundering and tax avoidance
The EP’s negotiators successfully insisted that, under the new rules, the EIB may not support projects that contribute to money laundering, terrorism financing, tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion. In addition, the bank cannot cooperate with entities in countries on the Commission’s blacklist of states at risk of money laundering, or countries that do not otherwise effectively comply with EU or internationally agreed tax standards on transparency and exchange of information. The EIB will have to report regularly to EP and Council on the implementation of these requirements.
Combating climate change
The EIB’s lending objective on mitigating climate change was strengthened. It must seek to “sustain a high level” of climate-relevant operations and increase their share from at least 25% currently to a target of “at least 35% of total EIB financing operations in emerging economies and developing countries outside the EU by 2020.”
Rapporteur Eider Gardiazabal (S&D, ES) said: "For years we've been asking the EU to engage with our neighbouring countries to improve the living conditions of their people. With the adoption of the External Lending Mandate of the EIB we make a step forward and pass from words to action. Together with the European Fund for Sustainable Development EFSD, we're demonstrating that sustainable development is our priority and that our engagement becomes a reality."
The provisional agreement still has to be confirmed by the full house during a plenary session early next year.
The European Investment Bank has been established in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome. The shareholders of the Bank are the EU's Member States.
Its external lending (which started in 1963) accounts for about 10% of its global activity, making it the largest multilateral lender in the world (and one of the world’s largest development banks). Its external activities comprise, in addition to operations covered by the ELM, investment grade operations outside the Union at its own risk, as well as activities under specific mandates such as in ACP countries.
Under the ELM, the EU provides a budgetary guarantee to the EIB covering risks of a sovereign and political nature in connection with loan and loan guarantee operations it carries out outside the EU in support of EU external policy objectives.
The ELM has been co-decided between Parliament and Council since 2009, following a challenge by European Parliament of the chosen legal basis (now dual: Articles 209 and 212 of the TFEU).