Bigger role for EU Investment Bank to tackle migration crisis
MEPs have adopted legislation enabling the European Investment Bank to lend an additional €5.3 billion to projects outside the EU.
€3.7 billion of this amount will be earmarked for projects addressing migration issues.
Other key changes:
- the EIB’s mandate to lend to non-EU countries gets a fourth “high-level” objective to address the root causes of migration,
- provisions for preventing money laundering, and fighting terrorism and tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion are strengthened, and
- EIB’s lending objective on mitigating climate change has been expanded
More information can be found in the press release following the vote in Committee .
The legislation on the EIB external funds was adopted by 487 votes to 96, with 42 abstentions (EU guarantee to the EIB) and by 506 votes to 83, with 36 abstentions (Guarantee Fund for external actions).
Rapporteur Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES) said: “With this vote, we are going to improve the EU’s action abroad through the EIB, increasing our investment capacity to 32.3 billion euros by 2020, with a special effort in Mediterranean countries and the Balkans. We have made sure that all the initiatives financed through this programme contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and thus to eradicating the root causes of migration.”
“In addition, in order to comply with the Paris agreement and our commitment to help developing countries, we have increased the share of climate change-related investment from 25% to 35%.”
“We have also introduced much more restrictive legislation to prevent money laundering or the financing of terrorism. To this end, the EIB must submit an annual report on the implementation of this policy, including a country-by-country report and a list of the intermediaries with which it cooperates.”
You can watch the rapporteur’s full plenary speech here.
How it works
The EU provides a budgetary guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB), with a maximum ceiling of €30 billion (€27 billion plus €3 billion in reserve) for ”external” operations for the 2014-2020 period.
The new rules will release the €3 billion kept in reserve. Of this, up to €1.4 billion are earmarked for public sector projects addressing the root causes of migration. In addition, €2.3 billion for that period are provided for private sector lending for migration-related projects, which, for example, create employment opportunities and improve both the daily living and business environment, raising the ceiling to €32.3 billion.
Projects outside the EU account for around 10% of total EIB lending.