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Procedure : 2013/2131(INI)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
Documentencyclus : A7-0137/2014

Ingediende teksten :

A7-0137/2014

Debatten :

PV 10/03/2014 - 11
CRE 10/03/2014 - 11

Stemmingen :

PV 11/03/2014 - 9.22
Stemverklaringen

Aangenomen teksten :

P7_TA(2014)0201

Debatten
Maandag 10 maart 2014 - Straatsburg Herziene uitgave

11. Jaarverslag 2012 van de Europese Investeringsbank (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
PV
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  Der Präsident. - Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Marian-Jean Marinescu im Namen des Haushaltskontrollausschusses über die Europäische Investitionsbank (EIB) – Jahresbericht 2012 (2013/2131(INI)) (A7-0137/2014).

Dazu begrüße ich herzlich den Präsidenten der Europäischen Investitionsbank, Herrn Hoyer. Herzlich willkommen, Herr Hoyer!

 
  
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  Marian-Jean Marinescu, Raportor. - Domnule președinte, Banca Europeană de Investiții a beneficiat de o majorare de capital de 10 miliarde de euro, ceea ce facilitează alocarea adițională pentru perioada 2013-2015 a 60 de miliarde de euro pentru împrumuturi pe termen lung pentru proiecte europene. Banca trebuie să se asigure că își îndeplinește obiectivul de a genera locuri de muncă pentru cel puțin o jumătate de milion de europeni în 2014, prin împrumuturi pentru proiecte de infrastructură, pentru eficiența resurselor, precum și pentru IMM-uri.

Consider că este necesară realizarea unei evaluări cuprinzătoare, care să ofere cifre viabile cu privire la locurile de muncă pe termen lung, create cu ajutorul împrumuturilor acordate de BEI și la impactul acestor împrumuturi asupra economiei. Cred că Banca Europeană de Investiții poate avea un rol hotărâtor în optimizarea investițiilor și poate constitui, în același timp, un catalizator în intensificarea cooperării dintre Comisie și statele membre în domenii extrem de importante, precum politica de coeziune. Cuplarea instrumentelor de partajare a riscurilor între Comisie și BEI, alături de crearea de sinergii între activitățile băncii și ale Fondului european de investiții, vor facilita implementarea obiectivelor Europa 2020 și vor sprijini Pactul de stabilitate și de creștere.

Multe state membre se confruntă cu rate mici de absorbție a fondurilor structurale. Banca trebuie să-și intensifice eforturile pentru a îmbunătăți capacitatea statelor membre de a absorbi resursele Uniunii, inclusiv fondurile structurale. Statele membre pot folosi o parte a alocărilor din fondurile structurale atât pentru a partaja riscul, cât și pentru a oferi garanții pentru împrumuturile contractate de la BEI.

Constrângerile în materie de finanțare, care afectează întreprinderile și sectorul public, continuă să influențeze negativ ocuparea forței de muncă în rândul tinerilor. Programul băncii de ocupare a forței de muncă în rândul tinerilor, cu un volum de creditare de 6 miliarde de euro, este de cea mai mare importanță pentru abordarea acestor probleme. Banca trebuie să-și lărgească domeniul de acțiune și să folosească instrumente suplimentare pentru a furniza stimulente viabile pentru generarea de locuri de muncă pentru tineri, în special în statele membre cunoscute pentru ratele ridicate ale șomajului în rândul tinerilor.

Principalele probleme din mai multe state sunt lipsa de fonduri și costurile de finanțare mai mari, în special pentru IMM-uri. De aceea, eforturile băncii trebuie să fie redirecționate către promovarea finanțării pentru IMM-uri, antreprenoriat, exporturi și inovare, care sunt vitale pentru redresarea economică. Trebuie sprijinită inițiativa comună a Comisiei și a băncii de finanțare a IMM-urilor din cadrul noului cadru financiar, prin care se combină fondurile disponibile din programele COSME și Orizont 2020, fiind dedicate resurse în valoare de până la 8,5 miliarde de euro fondurilor structurale și de investiții europene cu scopul de a genera împrumuturi suplimentare pentru IMM-uri.

Cer statelor membre să participe activ, contribuind la instrumentele comune cu ajutorul creditelor primite prin fonduri, pentru a sprijini creșterea numărului de credite acordate IMM-urilor de pe teritoriul lor, sporind astfel efectele de levier la nivel global.

Accentuez responsabilitatea băncii de a crește nivelul de transparență în ceea ce privește selecția intermediarilor financiari și a partenerilor pentru proiectele cofinanțate, precum și în ceea ce privește beneficiarii finali. Este fundamental ca banca să-și mențină ratingul de credit AAA pentru a-și păstra soliditatea financiară și capacitatea de a injecta lichidități în economia reală. Concomitent, însă, banca, împreună cu Fondul european de investiții, trebuie să aibă în vedere, în anumite cazuri, creșterea angajamentelor în activități cu un grad mai ridicat de risc.

Nu în ultimul rând, susțin necesitatea unei supravegheri prudențiale a băncii de către Banca Centrală Europeană, în contextul viitoarei uniuni bancare.

 
  
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  Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. - Mr[nbsp ]President, it is a great pleasure and honour for me to report to you today on our activities in the past year. This is probably the last opportunity for me to speak in the plenary of the European Parliament during this legislative period, so let me take this opportunity to thank Parliament for its excellent cooperation and support given to the EU bank during these past years. In particular, allow me to thank the rapporteur, Mr Marinescu, who just presented his report, for a very thorough and well-balanced report on the activities of the European Investment Bank, and everyone else involved for the excellent cooperation with the EIB’s services.

The EU bank is part of a concerted European response to the crisis, and there are signs that this common strategy is bearing fruit. It will be successful only if these fruits are sooner or later – hopefully sooner – visible on the labour markets.

Thanks to the capital increase of EUR[nbsp ]10 billion from the Member States, the EIB Group stepped up its financial support to promote growth and jobs significantly in Europe last year. The Group, comprising the Bank and the European Investment Fund, provided the economy with strong counter-cyclical support, supporting the real economy with loans amounting to EUR[nbsp ]75 billion. Within the EU we thereby increased our lending activities by 42[nbsp ]% compared to the year before: 42[nbsp ]% more.

For example, we have ensured access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises by making our SME support become our largest policy contribution, amounting to an all-time high of EUR[nbsp ]22 billion – EUR[nbsp ]21.9 billion to be precise – in 2013. This allowed us, taking into account private investment, to mobilise more than EUR[nbsp ]50 billion in support of SMEs and mid-caps and to support a total of 230[nbsp ]000 SMEs with 2.8 million people employed across Europe in 2013. We also paid special attention to the peripheral countries where we lent considerable volumes to SMEs and mid-caps.

For Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, we signed new loans worth altogether nearly EUR[nbsp ]7 billion. And we did not just extend our lending activities, we also added some new products to our toolbox. As you all know, the problems differ in the Member States; thus we reacted with tailor-made and efficient instruments.

In Greece we signed the first trade finance facility worth EUR[nbsp ]500 million. Here the EIB acts as a safe bridge between leading Greek and foreign banks, to the benefit of Greek importers and exporters. We have already replicated this facility in Cyprus for EUR[nbsp ]150 million, and other countries have shown great interest in this new tool.

Again in Greece, we set up the SME Guarantee Fund. The Fund is a joint initiative between the Hellenic Republic, the Commission and the EIB. Established by using EUR[nbsp ]500 million from unabsorbed Structural Funds for Greece, the Fund will guarantee EIB loans to SMEs by our partner banks in Greece totalling up to EUR[nbsp ]1 billion.

In Portugal we started an innovative portfolio state guarantee covering up to EUR[nbsp ]6 billion for new investments. All these instruments enable us to operate in countries where commercial banks and other investors have reduced their activities substantially or have even withdrawn completely.

But let me be clear: our business model is based on a well-balanced portfolio across the entire Union. This is, of course, of utmost importance for our investors. In this context let me say a few more words on our business model and face some rumours that the EIB would be too risk averse and concentrate too much on its AAA rating.

As the rapporteur said, or implied, the AAA is not a fetish for us, but preserving good refinancing conditions when generating private capital from the market is vital for our business model. We borrow what we have to lend, and we need to do everything to protect our favourable funding conditions in order to be able to fulfil our mission, as laid down in the Treaties, to act counter-cyclically and help particularly those countries which need our help the most and to help with very favourable loan conditions.

Another area supporting growth and jobs is the Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative (PBI). This initiative, which is a risk-sharing instrument created by the Commission and the EU bank, provides an opportunity for reopening capital markets as a source of financing for crucial transport, energy and communications infrastructure projects. In January 2014, together with the Commission we presented the PBI interim report to Parliamentʼs Committee on Budgets.

Furthermore, we are enhancing the activities of the European Investment Fund to overcome existing financing constraints for SMEs. It is also a very powerful instrument for addressing market gaps, offering a broad range of equity, guarantee, risk sharing and lending products. The board of the EU bank – the EIB is the largest shareholder in the EIF – recently decided to strengthen the risk-taking capacity of the Fund by extending its mandate and subscribing to the EUR[nbsp ]1.5 billion EIF capital increase.

The participation of the European Union in the capital increase of the European Investment Fund was voted on in Parliamentʼs Committee on Budgets and will be tabled for the April plenary. We are grateful to Parliament for understanding the need to deal rapidly with this issue before the end of the legislature. This new capital will increase the Fund’s capacity to share risk and provide capital in order to stimulate further SME lending.

In addition to the capital increase we will extend the EIF’s activity by granting a new mandate. This will make up to EUR[nbsp ]4 billion available in support of additional guarantees to be issued by the EIF over the next seven years. All in all, these measures should increase our funding capacity and expand our product offer for SMEs.

Politically, economically and socially one of the biggest challenges remains the fight against youth unemployment, which the European Council considered last year as a priority. In that context we launched a dedicated youth employment programme in July. I am very proud to tell you that the volume initially committed of EUR[nbsp ]6 billion for 2013 has been significantly exceeded. In just six months the Bank made available loans for almost EUR[nbsp ]9.1 billion to tackle youth unemployment. This included projects for infrastructure for secondary education and vocational training, support for student loan schemes, as well as loans to SMEs and young entrepreneurs in regions where youth unemployment rates exceeded 25[nbsp ]%. Given the success of the youth unemployment programme – or youth employment programme, to put it better – we will extend our financial support this year because, as has been said many times but without losing any validity, we cannot afford to lose an entire generation, either economically or socially.

I should also mention briefly the EIB’s external activities. As you know, roughly 10[nbsp ]% of all lending goes to projects outside the EU, to support the EUʼs policies beyond its borders. This is, given our overall size, a considerable amount of money – close to one third the size of World Bank lending to public and private sectors. With direct investments supporting the economic and social development of neighbourhood and partner countries, the EIB promotes EU interests and supports EU policies. In this context, I would just like to mention the current situation in Ukraine, which we can further elaborate on during our discussion.

The majority of the Bank’s financing operations outside the Union are carried out under an EU budget guarantee set out in its external mandates for EIB activities in different regions of the world. Parliament and the Council have just concluded negotiations on the new external lending mandate, and you will vote on the text tomorrow.

I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for your support, which was decisive in permitting our lending activities to continue to support EU external policies at similar levels to those of 2007-2013: that is, up to EUR[nbsp ]30[nbsp ]billion. In times of scarce budgetary resources, the external lending mandate is very important, given the high leverage of the EU guarantee – up to 25[nbsp ]% – which allows us to do more with less.

Let me say in conclusion that, in addition to our coherent and consistent approach, I would like to emphasise that we responded to the crisis with more Europe, and not less; with more integration and more trade support, and not with nationalisation or protectionism. This is for me a very important message for the upcoming elections for this Parliament. Thank you very much. The European Investment Bank reports that we have delivered.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. - Mr President, honourable Members, the Commission welcomes Parliament’s report on the European Investment Bank and shares the recognition of the important role the EIB plays in supporting Europe’s recovery from the financial crisis. We particularly welcome the establishment of the Growth and Employment Facility, which was enabled by last year’s EUR[nbsp ]10 billion capital increase and will generate EUR[nbsp ]60 billion of additional lending over the next three years.

The implementation of the capital increase has progressed smoothly, thanks to the significant financial contribution from Member States, and we note with satisfaction that the EIB fully delivered on the agreed additional lending volumes in 2013.

In this context, we also welcome the support of Parliament for the launch of the instruments of COSME and Horizon 2020, which will be implemented by the EIB and EIF, and for the joint SME initiative. These initiatives will considerably increase the effectiveness of joint risk-sharing instruments in support of SMEs and high value-added research and development projects.

At the same time, the expansion of risk-sharing instruments funded from the EU budget and from structural funds should be flanked by measures to strengthen the EIB’s own internal risk-taking capacity to ensure that satisfactory leverage can be achieved for the EU funds. We share the comments made in Parliament’s report in this regard.

While we recognise the need to control portfolio risks and the importance of the triple A rating, the EIB needs to optimise the value-added of its lending, taking into account country-specific needs. It is critical that the EIB deploys the fresh funds from its capital increase, which was financed by EU taxpayers, to high value-added projects across the 28 Member States, including vulnerable and programme countries, for which funds are not available from other sources on reasonable terms. There is still more work to be done here, as we note that a significant proportion of EIB lending continues to flow to blue chip companies with ready access to commercial loans. This type of business is best left to the private banking sector, as the EIB is not needed there.

Going forward, it will thus be crucial to demonstrate even more that the EIB can play a key role in the EU’s efforts to restart growth and job creation, especially in vulnerable and programme countries. All this is not intended to call into question the EIB’s business model but to ensure that all efforts are used to ensure that taxpayers’ money is used as effectively as possible.

A clear example of successful EU-EIB cooperation is the EU Project Bond Initiative, which has launched a debate on the various models for promoting a project bond market in Europe. The transactions closed demonstrated the role of the project bonds in attracting investors to large projects with a higher risk profile than they would normally accept. This is largely due to the involvement of the Commission and the EIB, which proves to be crucially important to investors in terms of project deliverability.

The active promotion by the Commission and the EIB of project bonds for infrastructure financing has supported the development of capital market solutions. The two project bond deals signed show that project bond solutions could deliver value for money compared to bank solutions, effectively enabling governments to deliver more to taxpayers at the same or even lower financing costs.

The Commission and the EIB are currently looking at ways to improve the performance of the scheme and to implement it in a broader range of countries and in greenfield projects. The Commission will also look at the financing of smaller infrastructure projects and the potential use of European Structural and Investment Funds to support the development of the project bond market in a variety of infrastructure sectors in Europe, including renewable generation and smart grid assets.

From 2014 onwards, the Project Bond Initiative will be part of the Connecting Europe Facility, with an initial budget of EUR 230 million for 2014-15 and further allocations to be made after 2015, subject to the full independent evaluation of the pilot phase. The European Investment Fund, which is owned jointly by the EIB, the EU and a number of financial shareholders, has been another highly effective tool for supporting the economy in areas not adequately served by the commercial banking sector, including financing for SMEs and venture capital. This is an area particularly affected by the financial crisis and the fragmentation of the EU’s credit markets. Otherwise-identical SMEs now face different financing conditions, merely based on the Member State where they are based, and that is why the European Council of December 2013 asked us to further enhance the capacity of the EIF through an increase in its capital.

We are currently working with the European Parliament and the Council to complete the legislative process for the capital increase by May. We are grateful for the excellent cooperation with Parliament and the Council, which makes us confident that we can succeed with this important project within our ambitious timetable and get the first projects going this year.

As regards EIB external activity, a substantial level of EIB involvement in the pre-accession and neighbourhood countries is essential, in line with the EU’s political and strategic priorities. EIB investment activity in these regions is of fundamental importance to facilitate the accession process and to bolster EU support to its neighbourhood. They should thus remain at the focus of the EIB’s external lending activities. The Commission welcomes the recent creation of an Eastern Neighbourhood Committee by the EIB, because the Bank’s support to the region is needed now more than ever, including in countries such as Ukraine.

We are satisfied with the progress achieved on the future external lending mandate under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, and we welcome the very constructive approach of Parliament on this important project. The timely conclusion of the legislative process will ensure that the EIB operations outside the EU will continue smoothly following the end of the current mandate on 30[nbsp ]June[nbsp ]2014.

We are waiting for the input from MEPs, and I will hand this over to my colleague, whom I replaced tonight.

(Applause)

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΑΝΝΥ ΠΟΔΗΜΑΤΑ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 
  
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  Ingeborg Gräßle, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Präsident Hoyer! Frau Kommissarin, Respekt! Ihre Rede hat mir sehr gut gefallen, weil sie einen kritischen Grundton angeschlagen hat, den ja auch der Kollege Marinescu in seinem Bericht angeschlagen hat. Wir begrüßen diese Debatte über die Arbeit der EIB. Allerdings zeichnet sich die Arbeit der Bank nach wie vor durch die Intransparenz der großen Zahlen aus.

Für mich stellen sich viele Fragen: Die EIB-Programme zur Bekämpfung der Jugendarbeitslosigkeit sind eine wichtige Sache. Aber was hat die EIB tatsächlich gemacht und was hat sie erreicht in Sachen Wachstum und Beschäftigung? Ich erinnere daran, dass die Kommission uns nichts sagen kann, weil es angeblich keine statistischen Daten dazu gibt, wie also kann es die EIB? Wie wäre es, wenn statt einer Hochglanzbroschüre einmal eine Publikation über den Mehrwert der EIB-Kredite käme? Und bitte erklären Sie uns dann auch, warum die Programmländer, also die Hauptkrisenländer und unsere Hauptsorgenkinder, nur 5[nbsp ]% aller EIB-Investitionen ausmachen? Wird etwa dem gegeben, der schon hat?

Der zweite Punkt ist die Frage der Kapitalerhöhung der EIB. Wir fragen uns, wie die Bank in einem wirtschaftlich schwieriger gewordenen Umfeld ihr Qualitätsportfolio erhalten kann. Und dann wäre es interessant, einmal zu erfahren, wie hoch der Prozentsatz der Kredite ist, die die EIB vereinbart hat, aber dann nicht ausgezahlt hat.

Die dritte Frage, die ich mir stelle, ist, wie viele Kredite die EIB tatsächlich an KMU vergeben hat, die von ihrer Hausbank kein Geld mehr erhalten. Das sind ja die Unternehmen, die die Kredite ganz dringend brauchen. Wir haben große Probleme, die Darlehensvergabe der EIB tatsächlich zu bewerten, weil es keine Informationen über Endbegünstigte gibt. Es wäre auch wichtig zu erfahren, wie viele Kredite der EIB eigentlich an Banken selbst gegangen sind.

Zum vierten Punkt: Für die Arbeit in den Drittstaaten darf ich darauf hinweisen, dass wir mit der Gründung des Auswärtigen Dienstes sehr gut Bescheid wissen über das Mittelmanagement und die Kosten. Da bleibt die EIB inzwischen weit zurück, was die Managementleistung pro Mitarbeiter und Informationen über die Kosten der EIB-Infrastruktur betrifft. Ja, das interessiert uns wirklich.

Und der fünfte Punkt, die Frage der Einhaltung des EU-Rechts durch die EIB, also: Wie steht es mit der Umsetzung von CRD IV und Basel III? Gerne erwarten wir die Antworten auf diese Fragen!

 
  
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  Jens Geier, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Präsident Hoyer, Frau Vizepräsidentin der Kommission Reding! Die Europäische Investitionsbank ist die Bank der EU. Sie finanziert die Ziele der EU entsprechend ihren politischen Prioritäten. Der Jahresbericht für 2012, über den wir heute diskutieren, behandelt die Governance, die Erfüllung der Vorschriften und den Kontrollrahmen. Er berichtet über die Stärkung der Unterstützung für kleine und mittlere Unternehmen, er erläutert den Beitrag der EIB zu den externen Politiken der Europäischen Union und die Kooperation mit anderen internationalen Finanzinstitutionen. Schließlich – und das ist etwas Neues – werden die Beratungskapazitäten beschrieben, die das Beratungszentrum für die Public Private Partnership darstellt. Das alles steht in keinem wesentlichen Widerspruch zur Haltung meiner Fraktion zu den im Bericht aufgeworfenen Punkten. Die EIB ist damit ein zentrales Instrument, um den Herausforderungen, die die Krise an uns stellt, zu begegnen und Wachstum und Beschäftigung zu fördern.

Für uns ist von fundamentaler Bedeutung, dass die EIB ihr Triple-A-Rating behält, um finanzielle Stärke zu bewahren. Wir wünschen uns zusätzlich, dass die EIB neue finanzielle, aber auch nicht-finanzielle Instrumente entwickelt, die geeignet sein können, kurzfristig Marktprobleme genauso zu lösen wie langfristige Probleme der EU-Wirtschaft unter den Bedingungen der Krise.

Zuletzt wollen wir begrüßen, dass die EIB angesichts der Gewalt auf dem Majdan zunächst die Aktivitäten in der Ukraine eingestellt hat. Das war ein starkes Signal, dass die europäischen Institutionen Verantwortung zeigen.

 
  
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  Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, namens de ALDE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, ook ik wil de heer Hoyer en commissaris Reding, en onze rapporteur Marinescu hartelijk danken voor hun bijdrage in dit debat.

Het jaarverslag 2012 lezend was ik weer onder de indruk van de omvang en ook de resultaten van de Europese Investeringsbank. Dat mag best wel eens gezegd worden. Ik denk dat weinig mensen weten dat de Europese Investeringsbank twee keer zoveel investeert als de Wereldbank bijvoorbeeld. En het is dan ook een cruciaal instrument voor de Europese Unie.

Maar ondanks die algemene positieve beoordeling heb ik ook een aantal punten van kritiek. Allereerst wil ik beginnen bij het gebrek aan transparantie. Volgens Bankwatch is de Europese Investeringsbank de minst transparante grote internationale bankinstelling en dat vind ik eigenlijk de Europese Unie onwaardig. Het is ook jammer vanwege de geringe zichtbaarheid van de Europese Investeringsbank.

Mijn tweede punt van kritiek betreft de keuze van sectoren. In 2012 ging zo’n dertig procent van de investeringen naar de infrastructuur voor transport. Ik denk dat het goed is – en dat staat ook in het Operational Plan 2014-2016 – als de Europese investeringsbank sterk op de toekomst gericht is. De crisis heeft aangetoond dat Europa zich nog sterker moet maken voor een omslag naar een slimme en een duurzame economie. En daar heeft de Europese Investeringsbank natuurlijk een hele grote rol te spelen.

Helaas komt vooral duurzaamheid er nog wat bekaaid van af, terwijl daar wél de toekomst ligt. In de toekomst zal concurrentie veel meer gebaseerd zijn op de efficiency van het grondstoffengebruik, het minder uitstoten van schadelijke stoffen enzovoort. Ik zou het mooi vinden als de Europese Investeringsbank daar een grotere nadruk op zou leggen, niet alleen om het klimaat, om de aarde te redden, maar vooral ook om die economische structuur van Europa veel sterker te maken.

 
  
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  Bart Staes, namens de Verts/ALE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, collega’s, mevrouw de commissaris, meneer Hoyer, ik ben erg tevreden met dit verslag van de heer Marinescu. Het biedt een goed overzicht van wat het Europees Parlement van de Europese Investeringsbank verlangt.

Twee zaken. Klimaat- en energiebeleid. Ik denk dat wij heel duidelijk zeggen dat er meer inspanningen geleverd moeten richting duurzame energieprojecten. Ik denk dat de balans ook duidelijker moet doorslaan naar hernieuwbare-energieprojecten. Ook moet slimme-energie-infrastructuur een grotere rol krijgen. Tegen 2015 moet men met een nieuwer plan te komen, een sterker plan, ook wat betreft de middelen, die zullen worden ingezet voor klimaat en energie. Meneer Hoyer, bent u ertoe bereid u zich daarvoor te engageren?

Transparantie en witwasbeleid. Ik denk dat er een hele reeks positieve zaken staan in dit verslag. Vooral dat er niet moet samengewerkt worden met bedrijven die duidelijk een slechte naam hebben op het gebied van transparantie, fraude, corruptie. Dat er niet moet worden samengewerkt als er gewerkt wordt in belastingparadijzen.

Ten slotte nog één ding, meneer Hoyer. Mag ik u vragen eens te reageren op die Nigeriaanse fraudezaak, die ook in het Britse Lagerhuis is aangekaart door mijn collega Caroline Lucas, waarover de Britse ombudsman zeer duidelijk zegt dat de Britse dienst van ontwikkelingssamenwerking zwaar in de fout is gegaan. Er zijn miljoenen verloren gegaan. Wilt u daar vandaag op reageren, meneer Hoyer?

 
  
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  Rina Ronja Kari, for GUE/NGL-Gruppen. – Fru formand! Jeg vil gerne starte med at glæde mig over, at der i Den Europæiske Investeringsbank er kommet øget fokus på at skabe vækst og beskæftigelse. Ser vi på de sidste års katastrofale udvikling, så er især beskæftigelse af afgørende betydning, og det kræver massive investeringer. Vi kan naturligvis ikke sidde overhørig, når ungdomsarbejdsløsheden i f.eks. Spanien rammer 57,7[nbsp ]%.

Derfor er det også ærgerligt, at Unionens samlede indsats mod ungdomsarbejdsløsheden skal foregå inden for de skadelige økonomiske rammer, der dikterer nedskæringer over en bred kam. Men det er næsten endnu mere ærgerligt, at det på trods af gode intentioner, ikke er lykkedes Investeringsbanken at få investeret alle de ressourcer, der var til rådighed, i de mest udsatte lande. Det er simpelthen dybt utilfredsstillende.

Vi kan ikke løse problemerne alene igennem Investeringsbanken. Det kræver et egentligt brud med den økonomiske politik. Heldigvis er der med hensyn til Investeringsbanken håb om, at det kan blive bedre i de kommende år. Det må vi her fra Parlamentet lægge vægt på at følge op på.

Men også på et andet punkt må vi være særligt opmærksomme, nemlig spørgsmålet om, hvilke projekter der bliver investeret i inden for klima og energi. Det er vigtigt, at investeringerne er i tråd med den klima og energipolitik, vi har vedtaget, der tilsigter øget fokus på vedvarende energi. Det betyder selvfølgelig også, at Investeringsbanken ikke skal investere i hverken kul eller atomkraft, men også, at Investeringsbanken skal have særlig fokus på at inddrage lokalbefolkningen i store projekter, der har stor betydning for lokalmiljøet.

 
  
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  Jaroslav Paška, za skupinu EFD. – V júli 2012 bola zverejnením nariadenia č.[nbsp ]670 spustená pilotná fáza iniciatívy projektových dlhopisov Európskej únie a Európskej investičnej banky. Animátorom spoločnej aktivity Využitie projektových dlhopisov určených na financovanie strategických transeurópskych dopravných, energetických a telekomunikačných projektov sa stala Európska investičná banka. Projektové dlhopisy boli určené aj na financovanie inovácií zmysluplných technológií zvyšujúcich konkurencieschopnosť Únie.

Prvá emisia projektových dlhopisov Európskej únie v objeme 1, 4[nbsp ]miliardy[nbsp ]EUR bola určená na podporu projektu Castor, realizáciu veľkého mimopobrežného zásobníka plynu v Španielsku. V súvislosti s nízkou výkonnosťou tohto projektu sa však ukazuje potrebné zo strany EIB poskytnúť podrobnejšie informácie o jeho príprave, najmä v súvislosti s uskutočnením geologických štúdií a analýz seizmického rizika.

Podľa dostupných informácií EIB doposiaľ schválila podporu z projektových dlhopisov prevažne na energetické a dopravné projekty. Z hľadiska zvýšenia konkurencieschopnosti EÚ by však bolo potrebné podporiť najmä sektor informačných technológií a oblasť výskumu, vývoja a inovácií. Preto myslím si by bolo zo strany EIB potrebné viac sa venovať aj zmysluplnosti a najmä inovačnému potenciálu dlhopismi podporovaných projektov.

 
  
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  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE). - Madame la Présidente, Madame la Vice-présidente de la Commission, Monsieur le Président de la Banque européenne d'investissement, accompagné de son directeur général, je vous remercie et je vous félicite tout d'abord, Monsieur le Président, de l'attention que, comme votre prédécesseur, vous accordez aux parlementaires, parce qu'au fond, la BEI est un instrument intergouvernemental.

Mes premiers mots seront pour remercier mon collègue[nbsp ]Marinescu, qui a vraiment fait un excellent rapport, et mon propos portera sur deux sujets: premièrement, l'investissement et, deuxièmement, le contrôle prudentiel.

L'Union européenne n'investit pas suffisamment. Mes collègues le disent. Nous n'investissons pas assez et, d'ailleurs, le rapport dit que le pacte de croissance est une réponse importante mais pas suffisante. Je crois que nous sommes de plus en plus nombreux à considérer que le moment serait venu d'avoir ce grand plan européen d'investissement dans les infrastructures. Le Conseil européen a d'ailleurs demandé à la Commission européenne, qui l'a fait, de présenter un rapport sur les priorités et la mise en œuvre du pacte de croissance. Les infrastructures, l'énergie, le numérique, la recherche, la route, le fer, l'aérien, nous connaissons les têtes de chapitre. Nous n'investissons pas assez dans ces domaines. Il nous faudrait probablement un plan de 1[nbsp ]000 à 1[nbsp ]500[nbsp ]milliards d'euros d'ici à 2020.

Le rapport vous fait une proposition: c'est que nous ayons un débat politique avec vous, Monsieur le Président de la Banque européenne d'investissement, la Commission européenne, mais aussi le président du Conseil européen. Au cours du prochain Conseil européen des 20 et 21[nbsp ]mars va commencer l'évaluation de la stratégie Europe[nbsp ]2020. Nous devrions faire un point sur l'investissement.

Dernier point sur le contrôle prudentiel. Monsieur le Président, vraiment, cela fait depuis 2007 que nous demandons que la Banque se charge du contrôle prudentiel. Je crois que vous n'y êtes pas opposé. Votre prédécesseur a dit dans cet hémicycle qu'il était d'accord. Le Parlement vous propose trois formules. Soit un recours à la base juridique qui a été utilisée pour l'union bancaire –[nbsp ]l'article[nbsp ]127 du traité sur le fonctionnement de l'Union européenne, mais il faut que le Conseil prenne une initiative[nbsp ]–, soit un contrôle prudentiel dans le cadre de l'Union bancaire ou une démarche volontaire de la part de l'Autorité bancaire européenne avec ou sans la participation d'un ou de plusieurs superviseurs. C'est vraiment un élément de confiance pour l'investissement à long terme de la banque que vous présidez.

 
  
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  Inés Ayala Sender (S&D). - Señora Presidenta, en primer lugar quisiera agradecer y celebrar este ejercicio anual de transparencia y visibilidad de las actividades del BEI y reiterar la bienvenida a su Presidente, el señor Hoyer. Me referiré a tres puntos que me preocupan y concluiré con un ruego final.

Me felicito por la financiación de las energías renovables, en contradicción con las políticas energéticas erráticas y equivocadas de gobiernos como el del señor Rajoy en mi país, pero ello no obsta para que los recursos también se utilicen para invertir en proyectos de modernización y valorización energética del carbón autóctono europeo, único recurso de reserva estratégica seguro, haya sol o no, haya viento o no, y sobre todo en proyectos de captura y almacenamiento de CO2, para que dejen de ser virtuales y sean de verdad reales.

Me congratulo también del apoyo a la política de vecindad. Entiendo que Ucrania es una prioridad hoy, por supuesto, pero ojo con olvidar países que han hecho ya un esfuerzo enorme de democratización y que lo necesitan desde antes, desde ayer —me refiero al caso de Túnez y a la urgencia de allegar los recursos para el desarrollo inmediato de este país—.

Por último, los nuevos instrumentos financieros, en casos como el Mecanismo «Conectar Europa» para las nuevas redes transeuropeas, deben aplicarse cuanto antes, sobre todo para desarrollar su nueva potencialidad; no estamos, sin embargo, dispuestos a aceptar lo que el Consejo pretende ahora, vía la revisión del marco plurianual, que es reducir su capacidad de aplicar la flexibilidad. No lo vamos a aceptar.

Para acabar, el ruego: necesitamos urgentemente que el empleo para los jóvenes fluya. Necesitamos ver, pues, que tanto el BEI como sus instrumentos no solo consiguen proporcionar financiación, sino sobre todo hacer que estos empleos sean una realidad.

 
  
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  Jan Mulder (ALDE). - Voorzitter, het is al eerder gezegd, de Europese Investeringsbank heeft een benijdenswaardige reputatie: de bank heeft minder personeel dan de Wereldbank en leent meer geld uit. Zij kan dat doen - een en ander is trouwens goed uitgelegd in het verslag-Marinescu - omdat het een triple A rating heeft. Ook dat is een benijdenswaardige positie. Die komt onder andere doordat lidstaten het kapitaal van de Europese Investeringsbank garanderen. Mijn vraag, mijn opmerking in het algemeen is: als die lidstaten steeds lager geclassificeerd worden, ook hun triple A rating verliezen, wat voor effect heeft dat op de leencapaciteit van de Europese Investeringsbank?

Als wij kijken naar de recente meerjarenbegroting van Europa, dan is die voor de eerste keer in de geschiedenis lager dan de voorgaande. Automatisch hebben wij erbij bedongen dat meer verantwoordelijkheid zal worden gegeven aan die Europese Investeringsbank. Een euro die wordt uitgegeven via de Europese begroting is weg. Een euro die wordt gegeven aan de Europese Investeringsbank kan misschien wel twintig of dertig keer gebruikt worden. Dus op zichzelf is dat veel beter.

We hebben allerlei nieuwe programma’s bedacht: eurobonds, transportbonds, meer werk voor het Europees investeringsfonds en noemt u maar op. Alles gaat gepaard met meer administratie, meer kleine projecten en dat soort dingen. Bij de Europese begroting zelf hebben wij daar geen goede ervaring mee. De Europese Rekenkamer weigert een betrouwbaarheidsverklaring af te geven voor diverse onderdelen van de Europese begroting. Hoe denkt de Europese Investeringsbank te vermijden dat haar projecten dezelfde moeilijkheden zullen ondervinden als soortgelijke projecten onder de Europese begroting.

Ten slotte, Voorzitter, er wordt gepraat over prioriteiten, over werkeloosheid, energie, etc.. Ik zou zeggen, laten we ons, in het licht van de gebeurtenissen in de Oekraïne, vooral concentreren op duurzame energiebronnen.

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković (PPE). - Gospođo potpredsjednice, poštovana povjerenice Reding, poštovani predsjedniče Europske investicijske banke g. Hoyeru, prije svega želim čestitati kolegi Marinescuu i Odboru za proračunski nadzor na ovom kvalitetnom i sveobuhvatnom izvješću.

U trenutnim teškim socijalnim okolnostima u nizu država članica gdje je velik broj nezaposlenih, gdje velik dio mladih ljudi ima poteškoća u pronalaženju posla, gdje je malim i srednjim poduzećima otežan pristup dugoročnim izvorima financiranja, Europska investicijska banka se pokazala kao dio rješenja za izlazak iz krize i tu je njezina uloga i njezina aktivnost do sada bila vrlo važna u promicanju i unapređivanju ciljeva Europske unije u pogledu rasta, u pogledu zapošljavanja, i prevladavanju poteškoća u kojima smo proteklih nekoliko godina. Zato smatram da je povećanje kapitala od 10 milijardi eura koje je odobrilo Vijeće guvernera omogućivši time dodatnih 60 milijardi eura za dugoročno kreditiranje projekata u prve dvije godine, od čega je dio već realiziran izuzetno pozitivan korak, kao i da je u 2012. čak 400 velikih projekata financirano u 60 zemalja. Pohvaljujem i želim da se održi visoki trostruki AAA rejting koji nam i omogućuje pozajmljivanje 71 milijarde eura s povoljnim kamatama na međunarodnom tržištu kapitala. Smatram da moramo i dalje provoditi projekte u pogledu radnih mjesta za mlade.

U vezi s vanjskim aktivnostima govorit ćemo sutra, želim samo pohvaliti jer prvi puta govorimo na hrvatskom u ovakvom kontekstu EIB-a, da je od 2001. čak 3,25 milijardi eura kredita plasirano u Hrvatsku, a vidimo povećanje u 2013. s 300 u 2012. već na preko 633. Želim reći također da bi bilo dobro da Europska investicijska banka zajedno s Europskom bankom za obnovu i razvoj i Razvojnom bankom Vijeća Europe usklađuje svoje mandate i izbjegava moguća preklapanja. U tom smislu podržavam sve ovo što je nabrojio u uvodnom govoru g. Hoyer kao dodatnu ulogu Europske investicijske banke unutar EU-a, ali u promicanju naših vanjskih ciljeva.

 
  
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  George Sabin Cutaş (S&D). - Doamnă președinte, doamnă vicepreședinte a Comisiei, domnule președinte Hoyer, stimați colegi, activitatea Băncii Europene de Investiții capătă o importanță deosebită în contextul nevoii acute de creștere economică și de reducere a șomajului și sărăciei în Uniunea Europeană. Doresc să reamintesc faptul că anumite state membre se confruntă în prezent cu rate ale șomajului mai mari de 25%, cu datorii publice superioare produsului intern brut sau cu un nivel ridicat al sărăciei și necesită investiții masive. De aceea salut recenta decizie de majorare a capitalului BEI, ce va permite punerea în mișcare a unui număr mai mare de proiecte benefice pentru cetățeni.

În același timp, având în vedere dificultățile întâlnite de întreprinderile mici și mijlocii, motorul economiei europene, atunci când se încearcă obținerea de finanțare, consider că acțiunile Băncii trebuie să se axeze în jurul promovării instrumentelor de finanțare pentru IMM-uri. Este totodată nevoie de direcționarea investițiilor către crearea de locuri de muncă, în special pentru tineri, și către proiecte de formare profesională și de deprindere a unor noi competențe.

 
  
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  Paul Rübig (PPE). - Frau Präsidentin! Frau Kommissarin Reding, recht herzlichen Dank für den Bericht. Bei Präsident Hoyer bedanke ich mich für das Engagement und die Erfolgsgeschichte, die die EIB de facto in dieser Welt schreibt.

Die Kapitalerhöhung ist sehr gut dazu angetan ist, hier neue Standards zu setzen, vor allem im Bereich der Effizienz. Wir alle wissen, dass die Fazilität „Connecting Europe“ auf der einen Seite und die EIB auf der anderen Seite natürlich wichtige Impulse für die zukünftige Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Europas gestalten. Aber es geht vor allem auch darum, mit den Programmen zu zeigen, dass man mit best practice und Benchmarks natürlich auch neue Arbeitsplätze schafft. Neue Arbeitsplätze werden geschaffen, indem man die Selbständigkeit unterstützt und Selbständige dann die Hürde nehmen, den ersten Arbeitnehmer oder die erste Arbeitnehmerin aufzunehmen, sodass also Selbständige, KMU und Arbeitnehmer und Arbeitnehmerinnen eine wichtige Verbundwirkung haben.

Deshalb sollten wir auch sehen, wie der return on investment aussieht bei den Krediten, die vergeben werden, ob die Laufzeiten tatsächlich dem Bedarf jener entsprechen, die sie brauchen, und wie die Ausfallraten in Zukunft reduziert werden können. Wir sehen auch, dass natürlich gerade im Mittelmeerraum eine große Attraktivität besteht, vor allem für erneuerbare Energie, für Umweltgesetzgebung und für Unterstützung, diese dann auch in den Ländern umzusetzen.

Zum Schluss gratuliere ich dem Europäischen Investitionsfonds, weil der natürlich auch eine ausgezeichnete Ergänzung darstellt.

 
  
 

Διαδικασία "catch the eye"

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE). - Először is szeretnék gratulálni Marinescu jelentéstevő úrnak, aki kiváló munkát végzett, bár a hangvétele kicsit kritikus, ugyanakkor azt gondolom, hogy helyénvaló, és jó áttekintést ad a riport.

Az Európai Beruházási Bank nem egy hagyományos kereskedelmi bank. Az a feladata, hogy a belső piacot kiegyensúlyozza, és egy egyenletes növekedést tudjon biztosítani. Figyelembe kell venni a tevékenységénél, hogy mik a problémás területek. Vannak ilyen térségek, vannak ilyen csoportok, és vannak ilyen vállalkozástípusok is.

Azt gondolom, hogy fontos, hogy amikor a bank a tevékenységét végzi, akkor ezeket áttekintse. Ezért tartom fontosnak és támogatandónak a kkv-knak nyújtott hitelek kihelyezésének a növelését, akár hatásában ez 50 milliárdos nagyságrend is lehet, amit nagyon jónak tartok. Fontosnak tartom a tőkeemelést is, azonban szeretném megemlíteni, hogy ez a három A-s, tripla A besorolás nem lehet gátja annak, hogy a beruházási bank a célját és a feladatát elvégezze. Javasolni szeretném a hatástanulmányok szerepének a növelését, és olyan statisztikák elkészítését, amely alkalmas a célok visszamérésére is.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D). - Doamnă președinte, salut raportul anual pentru 2012 al Băncii Europene de Investiții și realizarea planului operațional convenit, de a finanța circa 400 de proiecte în peste 60 de țări. Consider că se impune să se acorde o atenție mai mare investițiilor în creștere economică și în crearea de locuri de muncă pe termen lung. Cerem Băncii Europene de Investiții să dezvolte, în strânsă cooperare cu statele membre, planuri de investiții orientate spre rezultate, care să fie ajustate în mod corespunzător la prioritățile de creștere naționale, regionale și locale.

Solicităm Băncii Europene de Investiții, de asemenea, să stimuleze investiții viabile în instrumente de creanță, care să direcționeze capital privat către proiectele necesare de transport, energie și infrastructură în domeniul comunicațiilor și tehnologiei informației.

De asemenea, susținem necesitatea ca Banca Europeană de Investiții să depună eforturi mai intense pentru a sprijini capacitatea statelor membre de a absorbi resursele Uniunii Europene, inclusiv fondurile structurale, având în vedere ratele de absorbție extrem de mici care există actualmente în multe state membre.

Închei, doamnă președinte, spunând că este extrem de important ca mecanismul pentru interconectarea Europei să fie sprijinit și prin investiții prin BEI.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Madam President, I would like to thank the rapporteur for his work on this report. I would be interested in some observations on paragraph[nbsp ]12 about the level of funding for the programme countries, but I also acknowledge that, in terms of Ireland, the support there has increased by 35[nbsp ]% to EUR[nbsp ]680 million in 2013 and that a lot of this investment has gone to communications, broadband, energy and education. So clearly they are vital parts of the economy.

In terms of SMEs, there is a fund of EUR[nbsp ]200 million. Do you see the possibility of providing more for that sector? Because there are concerns that, in terms of credit and financing, Ireland could perhaps face another crisis in the SME sector when the bank stress tests are completed. It is something that I have a concern about. It was raised by Professor Morgan Kelly, who perhaps has a track record of predicting the unpredictable, and I think it might be worthy of comment.

 
  
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  Nikola Vuljanić (GUE/NGL). - Gospođo predsjedateljice, istraživanja koja je proveo američki znanstvenik Joseph Stiglitz govore da su prosječni prihodi radnika 2012. niži nego 1968. U tom je razdoblju bilo mnogo investicija, a mnoge je financirala i Europska investicijska banka. Nezaposlenost i dalje nezadrživo raste, pa ako bi mi netko objasnio gdje je tu uspjeh poslovanja? Očito da su i te investicije pridonijele bogaćenju uskog kruga bogatih, a ne povećanju standarda građana. Nije bez razloga povjerenje u kapitalizam temeljen na financijskom tržištu ne narušeno, nego ga više nema. Banka bi, kao i sav raspoloživi kapital, trebala biti mnogo više na usluzi svima pa i manjim poduzetnicima, pa bi u skladu s tim trebalo uvjetovati dodjelu sredstava nacionalnim razvojnim bankama, te više pažnje posvetiti korupciji do koje dolazi u tom postupku.

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI). - Madam President, the existence of the EIB is justified on the grounds of perceived need. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) bemoans the fact that there was a lack of sustainable and viable projects that were eligible for EIB funding. It appears that the EIB criteria did not match the investment need. There is certainly a need for investment in infrastructure in the Member States. However, investment can be carried out more cheaply, more efficiently and in a more targeted way by those Member States creating the credit themselves rather than borrowing from external institutions and adding sovereign debt.

The principle of ‘what is physically possible must be financially possible’ should be followed. President Obama, no less, when introducing the American Jobs Act, said it was a contradiction for a bridge in Maine to be in need of repair while construction workers were unemployed. However, the resolution of that contradiction seems to have eluded him.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), Întrebare adresată conform procedurii „cartonașului albastru”. – Doamnă președinte, aș vrea să adresez o întrebare antevorbitorului meu, care vorbea despre lipsa de proiecte durabile, vizavi de criteriile Băncii Europene de Investiții. Cu toate acestea, aș pune o întrebare, nu atât colegului meu, cât Băncii Europene de Investiții: ce spuneți despre proiectul Nabucco, care devine cu atât mai durabil și mai important pentru Uniunea Europeană, mai ales în contextul crizei din Ucraina?

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI), blue-card answer. – (Inaudible as microphone not switched on) … it is for the ECON Committee to reply to that and not for me to.

 
  
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  Ivana Maletić (PPE). - Gospođo predsjedavajuća, pozdravljam povjerenicu gđu Reding, predsjednika EIB-a g. Hoyera i zahvaljujem izvjestitelju na ovom izvješću, g. Marinescuu. EIB je važan izvor financiranja za kapitalne investicije, nacionalni dio financiranja projekata koji se financiranju iz EU-fondova IPE, projekte srednjih i malih poduzetnika i poduzetničke infrastrukture te za inovativne i znanstvene projekte. Upravo ova ulaganja su pokretači rasta i razvoja te je zato uloga EIB-a u izlasku iz krize i preokretanju trendova jako važna. U Republici Hrvatskoj je još 2011. potpisan okvirni zajam s EIB-om za povoljno financiranje nacionalnog dijela za projekte koji se financiraju iz IPE, međutim sredstva se ne spuštaju do lokalnih jedinica nositelja projekata te se one i dalje nepovoljno zadužuju na tržištu. Važno je što prije aktivno koristiti izvore financiranja otvorene kroz EIB jer je cilj kvalitetna provedba kohezijske politike u svim državama članicama. Posebno je važan program Jaspers koji pomaže u kvalitetnoj pripremi infrastrukturnih projekata.

 
  
 

(Τέλος διαδικασίας "catch the eye")

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. - Madam President, the current difficult economic and financial situation requires decisive policy action, and the EIB’s activity is a crucial component of our efforts to bring back growth and employment to Europe. In this difficult environment it is important that the EIB assumes its role as a policy-driven bank, acts as a countercyclical institution and continues to provide financing to the real economy, especially in regions and sectors where funds are not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

I am convinced that Parliamentʼs assessment of the EIBʼs activities in the year ahead will be as supportive as its opinion on the 2012 Annual Report, and I look forward to continued close and successful cooperation between the Commission and the Bank.

Finally, I would like to thank you again for the excellent collaboration in the preparations for the EIF capital increase. We look forward to bringing this important project to a successful outcome with you.

 
  
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  Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank. - Madam President, let me start by thanking the Commission for its very good cooperation. The work that the European Investment Bank does would not be possible without the very close and trusting cooperation between the Commission and the Bank.

I would also like to thank all the Members of the European Parliament who have contributed to this debate today, as well as in the committee meetings. This has been very encouraging for us. Of course, in a dynamic and vibrant Parliament there will also be contradictions in the arguments that are presented. I probably cannot do justice to each and every one of you who has contributed to this debate today, but I promise that we will come back to each of you individually if there are matters that I am unable to respond to here today.

Let me say that I read Bankwatch and publications from other institutions too. I believe that sometimes you may be misled a little and that the reinforcement of prejudices or stereotypes does not really serve any purpose. I would like to say here that it is pure nonsense that only 5[nbsp ]% of the volume of investment goes to programme countries. We will come back to this in more detail.

I would also like to stress that the capital increase granted by the Member States – with the support of the Parliament and the Commission – has also enabled us to considerably raise the risk profile of the Bank’s activities. This was very helpful for us, but raising the risk profile does not mean wasting money. This is a balance sheet. The EIB is not there to give grants. The EIB is first and foremost a bank. This is its raison d’être and the basis for everything we do, because every cent we lend comes from the capital markets.

We must have the strongest possible status in the capital markets in order to be able to do such business. I would also like to say that, when you enter upon a short-term request from the European Council concerning the big challenge of youth unemployment in Europe, you are under huge pressure to act quickly. Time is of the essence. If we want to address the issue of youth unemployment seriously, we must speed up the process.

We succeeded not only in beginning the disbursement of the pledged EUR[nbsp ]6[nbsp ]billion within one month from early July to early August, but also in disbursing 50[nbsp ]% more than we had pledged. So do not expect the final analysis of the success story yet. It is simply too soon. I think we might even have to recalibrate – there is no doubt about this – after due analysis. We will do this.

There have been huge developments in the Bank. When this Bank was founded under the Treaty of Rome, nobody would have thought of doing business with SMEs on a short-term basis. At that time, the Bank was conceived of as a long-term lender for big infrastructure projects. Last year, we increased the volume of SME lending by almost a hundred percent to EUR 22 billion. This is a huge process that has changed the character of the Bank.

The developments on the capital markets and the state of affairs in banking are not such that we can assume that this pressure on SMEs will be reduced in the next couple of years. My concern is that, with the necessary changes in the process of achieving banking union, we might see a further credit crunch for SMEs in particular. We will therefore be present in this business as well.

The question about blue chip companies and SMEs is a contradiction that reflects old thinking. We are now living in a completely different world where the dual approach between SMEs and large corporations has produced the global value chain. Integration and interaction between companies of different sizes is therefore the name of the game in the modern world.

We can see that, in some countries, additional activity in SME business is probably necessary. We will come back to that, but I do not want to contribute to speculation about developments in the banking systems of individual countries. We can do that in detail as well.

I would like to express a major concern which I have for the European economy. Over ten years, the European economy has seen a reduction in investment. The investment level in the European Union and the Member States, today and over the last couple of years, is constantly some 15[nbsp ]% below the value of 2007. What does that mean for the quality of the capital stock in the European Union? It is deteriorating from year to year because we do not invest enough. In addition to that, the European Union is losing ground to its global competitors when it comes to innovation, research, the promotion of technology, and education. The average contribution to innovation – the knowledge economy – in general in South Korea, Japan or the United States is far beyond 3[nbsp ]% of GDP per year. In Europe for the last ten years, it has been consistently below 2[nbsp ]%, with huge differences among the Member States.

So there is not only an investment gap but also an innovation gap in Europe. I wonder what our position in the world markets will be if we do not stop that trend very quickly. Therefore, I fully support the idea of doing more for SMEs. However, I also fully support the idea of finally jumping on the innovation wagon.

Is our infrastructure in Europe really perfect? I am rather doubtful about that. Consequently, I believe that it will be very difficult to end up with a balanced portfolio in the EIB. But this is something I am ready to discuss with you in detail, just as I am ready to give detailed answers to any of your questions individually if I could not give a quick response here today.

 
  
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  Marian-Jean Marinescu, Raportor. - Doamnă președinte, doamnă comisar Reding, domnule președinte Hoyer, tema cea mai dezbătută în ultimii ani în această sală a fost dezvoltare economică și locuri de muncă. Dezvoltare economică și locuri de muncă nu se pot face decât prin investiții și prin capital de lucru. Statele membre, datorită crizei economice, au scăzut investițiile publice; băncile, datorită problemelor pe care le-au avut, au scăzut creditele pentru IMM-uri și au și mărit costurile pentru finanțare. Dumneavoastră sunteți o bancă de investiții, ați putea să faceți exact aceste două lucruri: să dirijați credite pentru investiții și să ajutați să se mărească posibilitatea capitalului de lucru pentru IMM-uri.

Uniunea Europeană, prin fondurile europene, prin regulamentele noi pentru următorul exercițiu financiar, încurajează creșterea economică și crearea de locuri de muncă. Toate fondurile europene, toate regulamentele sunt elaborate în această direcție. Trebuie să colaborați cu statele membre, să puneți laolaltă fondurile dumneavoastră și fondurile europene astfel încât să puteți să ajutați și să vă îndepliniți acea promisiune de 500[nbsp ]000 de locuri de muncă în 2014. Este, cred, ceea ce trebuie să faceți dumneavoastră cu prioritate, și nu numai în țările foarte sigure, dar și în țările care au probleme. Și să știți că cei 5% sunt reali, aceste date sunt preluate din documentele dumneavoastră.

Mulțumesc colegilor pentru participarea la această dezbatere, mai ales pentru întrebările foarte pertinente puse și sper că ceea ce ați promis aici, ceea ce ați spus - v-ați angajat să răspundeți punctual la toate aceste întrebări - se va realiza foarte curând.

 
  
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  Πρόεδρος. - Η συζήτηση έληξε.

H ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί την Τρίτη 11 Μαρτίου 2014 στις 12.00 το μεσημέρι.

 
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