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Ponedjeljak, 5. srpnja 2021. - Strasbourg Revidirano izdanje

16. Financijske aktivnosti Europske investicijske banke - godišnje izvješće za 2020. - Nadzor financijskih aktivnosti Europske investicijske banke - godišnje izvješće za 2019. (rasprava)
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die gemeinsame Aussprache über

– den Bericht von Pedro Silva Pereira im Namen des Ausschusses für Wirtschaft und Währung über die Finanztätigkeit der Europäischen Investitionsbank – Jahresbericht 2020 (2020/2124(INI)) (A9-0200/2021) und

– den Bericht von Bas Eickhout im Namen des Haushaltskontrollausschusses über die Kontrolle der Finanztätigkeit der Europäischen Investitionsbank – Jahresbericht 2019 (2020/2245(INI)) (A9-0215/2021).

Ich weise die Mitglieder darauf hin, dass bei allen Aussprachen dieser Tagung – wie gewohnt – weder spontane Wortmeldungen noch blaue Karten akzeptiert werden.

Außerdem sind wie bei den letzten Tagungen Zuschaltungen aus den Verbindungsbüros des Parlaments in den Mitgliedstaaten vorgesehen.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira, Relator. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Vice-Presidente da Comissão Europeia, Senhor Presidente do Banco Europeu de Investimento, é muito bem-vindo a esta Câmara. Queria começar por agradecer o contributo de todos os grupos políticos, dos relatores-sombra e da Comissão dos Orçamentos na elaboração deste relatório sobre as atividades financeiras do BEI em 2020.

A atitude construtiva de todos beneficiou muito este relatório sobre o Banco Europeu de Investimento. Com este relatório, o Parlamento cumpre a sua função de realizar o escrutínio democrático da atividade do Banco Europeu de Investimento, o banco público da União Europeia, única instituição financeira internacional inteiramente detida pelos Estados-Membros da União Europeia, que deve, por isso, alinhar os investimentos que financia pelas prioridades políticas e valores da União Europeia, dando especial atenção aos projetos de interesse público. Mas o Parlamento deseja bastante mais do que estes relatórios anuais e algumas audiências pontuais com a administração do Banco Europeu de Investimento. Insistimos na necessidade de um acordo interinstitucional entre o Banco Europeu de Investimento e o Parlamento Europeu que estruture este escrutínio democrático, que assegure audiências regulares, mas que assegure também o acesso à informação e a procedimentos de perguntas e respostas por escrito. Se necessário, podemos preparar um memorando interino de cooperação para, ao menos, organizarmos os termos do diálogo regular entre as nossas instituições. Este relatório, como o título indica, incide sobre o ano 2020. Todos sabemos como 2020 foi um ano muito especial e muito difícil, mas este ano confirmou o papel decisivo do Banco Europeu de Investimento. O Parlamento saúda o financiamento de emergência e o apoio à recuperação da economia concedidos pelo Banco Europeu de Investimento. Desde logo, os 40 mil milhões de euros iniciais que facultaram mais crédito e liquidez para as pequenas e médias empresas, para além das moratórias, e os 25 mil milhões de euros do novo fundo europeu de garantia, importante sobretudo para as pequenas e médias empresas, mas também para o sector da saúde, nomeadamente para a produção de vacinas. Igualmente importantes foram os mais de 5 mil milhões de euros que o BEI destinou ao apoio relacionado com a COVID-19 fora da União Europeia, incluindo a participação na Covax para uma distribuição mais equitativa das vacinas.

Defendemos neste parlamento que o fundo europeu de garantia se mantenha operacional para lá de 2021 e que o Banco Europeu de Investimento pondere incentivos para estimular a aceleração de projetos e linhas de crédito já aprovados. Há, sabemos, um crónico défice de investimento na economia europeia que se agrava com a crise e com o crescimento das desigualdades. É, por isso, necessária uma boa articulação entre o BEI e os outros instrumentos financeiros europeus e assegurar a devida adicionalidade dos projetos financiados. Mas, é preciso também cuidar do equilíbrio geográfico dos financiamentos e garantir um apoio reforçado às regiões menos atrativas para o investimento e menos favorecidas pela derrogação das regras em matéria de ajudas do Estado ao longo desta crise. Naturalmente, depois do Green Deal e das ambiciosas metas da descarbonização da economia europeia, o défice de investimento na área do clima e do ambiente teria de ganhar uma nova prioridade na estratégia do BEI. Para sermos justos, esta era já uma missão assumida pelo Banco Europeu de Investimento. O novo roteiro 2021-2025 só reforça a ambição do Banco Europeu de Investimento e é algo que saudamos, assim como o alinhamento dos financiamentos do BEI com o Acordo de Paris já em 2023. Tudo isto terá importantes implicações no crédito ao setor dos transportes, ao sector da energia, à política industrial. Precisamos, além disso, de valorizar o setor social, os investimentos na educação, formação profissional, no setor da saúde e mesmo no setor da habitação. Não podemos esquecer o papel, já hoje muito importante, do BEI no apoio à cooperação para o desenvolvimento, o qual devemos fortalecer no quadro do Global Europe, em que o Banco Europeu de Investimento terá um papel importante a desempenhar.

Por isso, o Parlamento Europeu defende neste relatório, uma vez mais, o reforço do capital do Banco Europeu de Investimento para que este possa estar à altura das suas missões e dos seus desafios.

Finalmente, desejamos que o Banco Europeu de Investimento leve mais longe as suas políticas de transparência, que aperfeiçoe as suas regras em matéria de conflitos de interesse, que prossiga uma política de tolerância zero no que respeita ao assédio no local de trabalho e que estruture o diálogo com os representantes do pessoal.

Tudo isto contribuirá para que o Banco Europeu de Investimentos esteja mais à altura das suas funções e das suas ambições. O Parlamento Europeu saúda o trabalho feito pelo Banco Europeu de Investimento e deseja que, cada vez mais, o banco corresponda às prioridades políticas da União Europeia e às expetativas dos cidadãos.

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout, rapporteur. – Mr President, I should like to thank President Hoyer for being here. It’s kind of a yearly tradition, isn’t it ? And also, Vice-President Dombrovskis.

I think if you read the reports, both in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, where I was shadow, but also, of course, the Committee on Budgetary Control report, you do see that for the Parliament the EIB, the European Investment Bank, is a very important bank and it’s the largest multinational investment bank that we have. And we very much also welcome the role that, for example, the EIB played in the famous Juncker investment plan.

2019, it always feels a bit awkward to be very honest, to do a budget control of 2019 when we are already halfway to 2021. But that was an important year because that was also the year where the EIB announced to become the Climate Bank of Europe, and being a Green at the same time, I can only welcome that, of course. But as we also see with the Green Deal, ambition is one thing, but now we have to put it into practice and put it into action.

And there are, of course, still some critical questions to be asked. For example if you look at the absolute emissions that are linked to the projects that the EIB is financing, the emissions rose from 2019 compared to 2018, and there was still a finance of EUR 685 million into gas projects.

We know that the energy lending policies have been changed, but still, we would like to hear also from President Hoyer on how are you going to make sure that this phase-out of gas projects is going to be put forward. Also, given the concerns we are still having if you look into projects like Trans-Anatolia or Trans-Adriatic, these big gas pipeline projects. And also there I would be very much interested to hear from President Hoyer how the EIB is going to look at the issues of a fossil lock-in, because if we want to go into a future of decarbonisation, then a lock-in into any other fossil fuel is not what we want to do. And I’m sure we agree on that, but I would like to see some vision on the part of the EIB to work on that.

The same is also on the lack of transparency about emissions that are being financed via intermediaries. So you have the direct parties, of course, but you also have the intermediaries that are financed through EIB and are causing emissions. And we would like to see more transparency of that as well, so that we are having a full footprint analysis of the EIB and not only through direct.

Looking at what the EIB has been doing, we very much compliment what you have been doing on the revision of the energy-lending policies, the climate roadmap, the upcoming transport policies, reform where – at least if we are not mistaken – the EIB will announce also to stop airport expansion, but it would be good to reiterate that of course once more.

But also here, I think it is very important that we also look at the counterpart framework of the EIB again to make sure that there are decarbonisation targets for the EIB clients and intermediaries again. So I would be interested to hear from President Hoyer on that as well.

Not only is the EIB a climate bank, it also portrays itself as a development bank, so a role outside the EU. But there we really still would like to see the point that there is a concern of violation of human rights and really effective complaint mechanisms, and what is the EIB going to do about that in order to make sure that that is being improved?

This is also probably a question towards the Commission. Also within the EIB, we have, of course, a discussion on grants versus loans towards developing countries. And you will not be surprised that for some developing countries, it’s not the loans that work, it should be grants, and there I think also the Commission should have a say if we look at what the EIB is doing.

I think where we are most critical is on the governance issues, staff issues governance. So I think we do have to address that also here in this plenary, and we really would like to hear a good reply of President Hoyer on that. There are on a couple of issues. First of all, on the conflicts of interest, I think the Parliament has reiterated a couple of times that we are concerned that vice-presidents sometimes are being in charge of their own home country. And we sincerely think that here there should be – I’m talking about vice-presidents in the management committee, right – so that they are responsible for their home country. What is the EIB going to do to make sure that there is not a conflict of interest, are there ideas of cooling-off periods, etc.? Here, really, we need a better approach of the EIB, and I’m sure that that colleagues of mine will raise that issue as well. I see some already nodding.

And then, of course, the staff issues. There have been some serious cases of harassment and I have to be honest here to say that the initial reply of the EIB could have been better. And I know that some of my colleagues will mention that as well, but any harassment case is serious and any harassment case should be prevented. And how is the EIB going to deal with that? Because I do think that any proportionate action needs to be taken and only written warnings is not sufficient. So really here we would like to hear a reply of President Hoyer how to address that, also because of the importance of the EIB. And this is a good development that the EIB is playing a more and more important role, but that also means that the scrutiny is more serious, and I think there also the EIB has to adhere to.

Last point is towards the Commission. You thought you could lay back there, but there is of course still the role of the Commission that is not very accountable towards the Parliament, and this is especially through Article 19 opinions, where we do not know necessarily what position the Commission is taking when the EIB is deciding. And the position of the Commission can be very important there. So we want more transparency on the position that the EIB is taking in management decisions by the EIB. I would be very much to looking forward to your reply on that.

I think those are some of the important points.

 
  
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  David Cormand, rapporteur pour avis de la commission des budgets. – Monsieur le Président, mes chers collègues, Monsieur Hoyer, quand nous sommes arrivés – je suis élu depuis 2019 –, nous avons été élus en disant: il faut maintenant une banque du climat pour changer de dimension au niveau européen et financer la transition. Et la BEI nous a dit: formidable! On va être la banque du climat, on sait le faire, on peut le faire.

Le problème, c’est que l’actualité nous rattrape et on voit bien les images terribles reçues d’un peu partout dans le monde – et tous les ans, toutes les semaines, tous les mois cela empire. On voit bien que ce que nous faisons va beaucoup moins vite que les destructions environnementales liées au changement climatique.

Monsieur Hoyer, mon collègue, M. Eickhout, vient de le dire: la BEI continue de financer des projets gaziers; la BEI continue de financer des autoroutes. La bifurcation que nous devons prendre est beaucoup plus rapide que celle qui est prise aujourd’hui.

Les questions ont déjà été posées et mon message est donc très simple, Monsieur le Président: si nous voulons que la BEI devienne vraiment la banque du climat, il faut agir plus vite, plus fort, avec plus de moyens. Il faut surtout choisir entre ce qui va nous permettre de faire la transition ou ce qui va nous maintenir dans la destruction que nous subissons encore.

 
  
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  Werner Hoyer, President, European Investment Bank. – Mr President, Members of the European Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure for me to be here – and to be here and not just to address you via video. The last time I had the privilege to address this House was in October 2019. How the world has changed since!

It has been a difficult, yet crucial, year for the EU, its citizens and its institutions, and I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate all of you for having kept the EU’s democratically elected institution fully operating throughout this challenging period. I am happy to see that our constructive and fruitful exchange has continued throughout the pandemic.

I would also like to thank the rapporteurs of the two reports, Mr Silva Pereira and Mr Eickhout, for their thorough work and their good cooperation. The issues in your reports are extremely relevant. I also very much appreciate your support to the EU Bank – both for its activities in and outside the EU.

As you know, the EIB Group is an extremely effective instrument to the EU. In 2020, it increased its financing volumes to almost EUR 77 billion, exceeding its own targets. A third of these funds, EUR 25.5 billion, went into the immediate crisis response that started with the first package in March last year. Most of it went to small and medium-sized businesses to avoid insolvencies and job losses, especially in countries that did not have the necessary budgetary means for massive national rescue packages. It was important to have a European response there because the impressive national schemes that we have seen, if left alone, would lead to a threat to the integrity of the internal market. So we needed a European component to that crisis response.

At the outset of the pandemic, like firefighters, our job was to run forward into the fire and save others – in this case thousands of companies across the EU and beyond. By 31 March 2021, the EIB Group had approved financing of EUR 64.1 billion for COVID-19-related projects. The European Guarantee Fund (EGF), launched at the peak of the crisis, is now delivering fast. Businesses of different sizes have access to short-term financing, allowing them to pay their employees’ salaries, their invoices and keep their business afloat, and I have listened carefully: there was the idea of making this a revolving or permanent institution, this European Guarantee Fund. We have already reached half of our target. Around EUR 14 billion worth of projects have been approved, spread over all 22 participating Member States, representing over EUR 116 billion of investment in the real economy.

Outside the EU, as part of Team Europe, we also contributed over EUR 7 billion, including EUR 600 million to the COVAX global vaccine distribution facility, and I am of the firm opinion that this must be expanded because we must bring substance to the statement that nobody will be safe until everybody is safe in this world. So we need to strengthen our activities also outside the European Union.

In the EU, our support is not only aimed at helping companies. A very substantial part of our work during the COVID-19 crisis was to support health projects aimed at ending the pandemic. This support targets the race in vaccine development, therapeutics and diagnostic solutions against COVID—19. We signed loans to support hospitals and we quickly approved a loan of EUR 100 million to BioNTech – by the way a company we have known for a long time because we had financed the development of their cancer products – that was leading to the development of the mRNA technology, which is now useful for fighting COVID-19. So we were practically the first in the industry to be on that track. We were in the favourable position of already working with them for several years because of the cancer treatment activities.

We also supported over 25 highly innovative European biotech and medtech companies with projects in treatments and diagnostics against COVID. The healthcare sector is clearly an example of what the EU Bank does best. As a public bank, we step in to invest where private money would not, or not yet, because of the long-term horizon of these projects and their high risks.

But, looking at the wider economy, what is clear is that the pandemic has exacerbated existing imbalances and accelerated structural changes. This is why the programmes we approved in the context of the 2021—2027 multiannual financial framework are of crucial importance. Under InvestEU, the EIB Group will deploy EUR 19.6 billion of guarantee and a significant part of our work on InvestEU will be to directly support cohesion regions and Just Transition. We are also very excited to have started bilateral discussions with several Member States on how to implement the Recovery and Resilience Facility through providing advisory services and developing financial instruments.

This brings me to my next point, which is how best to support the green recovery and transition. Speaking of transition, today we are all countries in transition: transition to a climate—friendly and truly digital economy. Yes, as we learned, sometimes the hard way, like from the transition of many so—called new Member States in the early 90s, this process comes at a cost. A transition to net zero also risks disrupting personal identities and deepening social inequalities. Some jobs once thought to be for life might be lost. What does it mean? It means that we need to put people in a position to grasp the opportunities of change and managing expectations to avoid disillusionment. It means that we need to have a just transition.

I appreciate very much that this Parliament is so supportive of our climate action ambitions. Our Climate Bank Roadmap sets out how we will support the European Green Deal with the most ambitious strategy on climate action of all multilateral development banks (MDBs), and of course fully in line with the EU taxonomy on sustainable finance, which I welcome very much because we need transparency, we need accountability and we need reporting obligations. Only then will the investors give us the money that we need in order to finance all these policies to reach our objectives. It cannot be done with taxpayers’ money only.

From 2025 onwards, 50% of our lending will be for climate action and environmental sustainability. This will help to leverage EUR 1 trillion of EU investment of the EIB Group over the critical decade ahead. That’s a massive commitment. The second one is of course the full alignment of all our activities with the Paris Agreement since the start of this year, and we are on track to achieve our objectives.

We need huge increases in investment in physical capital – new energy systems, new transport systems, our carbon sinks, our ecosystems – and, as I mentioned before, in people to develop skills and innovate. We need EUR 300 billion a year, just to modernise the energy sector! Yet, for years, Europe has been lagging behind when it comes to investment. As was mentioned before, the Juncker Plan was a big step forward.

Let me say at the end a word about the link between innovation, climate and development. It is crucial that we begin to think of these three dimensions together. We will never be able to solve our climate issues and reach the climate objectives of the United Nations if we think that with 8% CO2 emissions in Europe reduced we can do it. No, we must help the other parts of the world to go in the same direction, and not with old technologies, but with new technologies. If there is one sector where the Europeans are top of the class in the entire world, then it is clean tech. We will have this edge now only for a couple of years and then the others will have caught up. So, if we don’t want to see Chinese coal—power plants to electrify Africa or American plants in the west of Africa or elsewhere with shale gas used, then we must go into action. Otherwise, the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the Paris goals will be going up in smoke.

I need to stop here because I am so full of energy and ideas to refer to you, but I think I have the opportunity to come back and also to respond to individual questions.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable President of the EIB, Mr Hoyer, honourable Members, I would like to welcome the two reports and thank the European Parliament and in particular the rapporteurs, Pedro Silva Pereira and Bas Eickhout, for their useful and relevant work.

The European Investment Bank is a vital partner for implementing EU policies inside and outside our borders. I welcome this opportunity to discuss in Parliament how the EIB can help the EU to achieve our political priorities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to our societies and economies. It required the EU to respond decisively and in a coordinated way. Our collective agreement on the largest recovery package ever to be financed through the EU’s long-term budget and NextGenerationEU is a testament to this response. The support of our key partners and notably the EIB is essential in providing and leveraging investments aligned with EU policy priorities, including innovation and the green and digital transformations. Support should also be fully in line with our strategic geopolitical considerations. It is important for the EIB to further improve geographical balance and step up its activity in less developed regions, particularly in the context of the recovery. It is important to ensure a balanced development of the internal market and further convergence within the EU, while also contributing to the green and digital transitions of these regions. The bank has a proven ability for significantly reshaping its activities and adapting to changing realities. The successful implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment perfectly illustrates its capacity to seize new opportunities and redefine business models to address investment gaps that still affect the EU today. This is particularly true for the innovation and infrastructure sectors. The EIB group will remain a privileged partner under Invest EU, implementing 75% of the budget guarantee and advisory budget. Rapid deployment is essential and I trust this will be one of the key priorities of the EIB group.

We also rely on the EIB’s close cooperation with the Commission to align its operations and strategic direction with the EU’s external policy objectives and build strong partnerships with other international financial institutions and national promotional banks.

Our aim should be to enhance our existing cooperation channels without major institutional changes or additional costs. We will build on the work of the High-Level Group on the European Financial Architecture for Development and on a stronger Team Europe approach along the principles of EU policy first and open architecture.

Let me now address two particularly relevant issues highlighted in your reports. First, climate change. The Commission fully supports the ambitious climate action strategy of the European Investment Bank, matching the ambitious commitments of the Paris Agreement. More investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency will be essential to meet those commitments. With the EIB Group’s Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB became the first multilateral development bank to be aligned with the Paris Agreement and ready to adopt the EU taxonomy. The EIB’s leading role in climate financing can play an important role in a successful outcome of the upcoming COP 26 meetings. I rely on the EIB’s close engagement with relevant stakeholders in this area.

Second, tax compliance. The EU has taken significant steps to fight tax avoidance. This includes integrating new requirements against tax avoidance in EU legislation concerning particularly its financing and investment operations. As a follow-up, the Commission has been working closely with the EIB and other implementing partners on adapting their current compliance procedures to this new environment. The EIB and the Commission have close and constructive cooperation to reflect recent EU and international developments in the bank’s procedures. However, those who are keen to avoid taxes are highly creative, so we cannot become complacent. The Commission will continue to monitor this important area closely and work with the EIB on the necessary adaptations of its policies.

Now, relating specifically to a question raised by Mr Eickhout concerning Article 19 opinions, current Commission practice involves granting disclosure to individual Article 19 opinions upon request, which in the Commission’s view, provides the best balance of different interests. Such requests are treated according to the access to document rules governed by the Access to Documents Regulation. Those rules build on a presumption of disclosure, but also take into account the fact that the opinions could contain information that is sensitive, not only with regard to the EIB, but also with regard to third parties such as private project promoters. This ensures at the same time that legitimate interests of the broader public in knowing the underlying rationale of the Commission’s opinion and third party rights are annually protected.

To conclude, the Commission looks forward to working with the EIB on the upcoming revisions of its lending policies in a number of other important areas, notably the revision of the transport lending policy, which must be seen through the lens of decarbonisation, and the EIB’s fundamental and social standards. Thank you very much and I look forward to a productive debate today.

 
  
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  Angelika Winzig, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, geschätzter Herr Hoyer, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir berichten heute über die Finanztätigkeit der EIB 2019 – eine Zeit, in der die Welt noch nicht aus den Fugen geraten und Europa auf einem sehr guten wirtschaftlichen Weg war.

Die Kreditunterschriften der EIB beliefen sich auf 63 Milliarden, das sind 14 % mehr als im Vorjahr. Aber auch auf dem Gebiet der Nachhaltigkeit hat die EIB bereits eine klare Strategie entwickelt und definiert. Was von der linken Seite alles in diesen Bericht gepackt wurde, ist für mich nicht nachvollziehbar. Es zeigt, dass Hausverstand und betriebliche Realität sowie das Wissen über den aktuellen Stand von Forschung und Entwicklung ignoriert werden. Das ärgert die Unternehmer, das ärgert aber auch die Bürgerinnen und Bürger.

Für den Grünen Deal bedarf es des Unternehmergeistes, es bedarf der Forschung und Entwicklung, und daher sollte dieser Bereich auch in diesem Bericht oberste Priorität haben und nicht die linke Verbotspolitik. Die EVP als Stimme der Vernunft in diesem Parlament wird sich aber weiterhin dafür einsetzen, dass der Zugang zu Finanzierungen umfassend für unsere Betriebe vorhanden ist, dass die Transparenzerfordernisse so gestaltet sind, dass sie nicht zu Neiddebatten vor Ort führen und in der Folge kreative Unternehmen keine Lust mehr auf Investitionen haben und dass Übergangslösungen wie Gas weiter unterstützt werden.

Denn Nachhaltigkeit bedeutet auch, dass die Transformation gelingt und Beschäftigung und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit der europäischen Wirtschaft auch im Wandel gesichert sind.

 
  
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  Jonás Fernández, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor vicepresidente, señor presidente del BEI, muchas gracias por estar hoy aquí; es un placer recibirle.

Yo creo que el Banco Europeo de Inversiones hace muchas cosas bien, y el informe así lo reconoce: el trabajo en el despliegue del Plan Juncker, la definición del BEI como banco climático y, por supuesto, la inversión en todos estos últimos años para mejorar la capacidad, incrementar la demanda interna en el conjunto de la Unión Europea, y también en las labores de desarrollo.

Pero me gustaría hacer dos preguntas hoy aquí. La primera, tanto al presidente del BEI como al vicepresidente Dombrovskis. Hablamos a menudo de mejorar la rendición de cuentas democrática del BEI ante esta Cámara y de los problemas de capital del BEI; el informe solicita de nuevo un incremento del capital del BEI. En los últimos años hemos usado el presupuesto de la Unión para dar garantías a las emisiones del propio Banco Europeo de Inversiones, pero me gustaría que pudiéramos explorar la posibilidad de que, desde el presupuesto de la Comisión Europea, entremos directamente en el capital del Banco Europeo de Inversiones. Habría que revisar el propio Tratado del Banco Europeo de Inversiones, pero ya lo hemos hecho ante la salida del Reino Unido. Y, si la Comisión Europea estuviera presente en el capital del BEI, yo creo que el control de esta Cámara sería mucho mejor y más fuerte.

Me gustaría preguntarle también por la implicación del BEI en el desarrollo del Mecanismo para una Transición Justa, tanto a través de InvestEU como a través de la facilidad de crédito al sector público.

Y dos preocupaciones finales: nos han llegado muchas noticias sobre la gestión de recursos humanos del BEI, quizá demasiado presidencialista y no lo suficientemente democratizada que debería ser. Yo no sé si el presidente quiere aprovechar la comparecencia para comentar este asunto. Y es cierto que el Comité de Ética ⸺de cuya existencia nos congratulamos⸺ en los últimos años ha dado demasiados waivers y que realmente no es el caso de uno o de otro vicepresidente, sino que hay muchos vicepresidentes trabajando en el sector privado y yo creo que esto habría que revisarlo.

 
  
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  Alin Mituța, în numele grupului Renew. – Domnule președinte Hoyer, avem nevoie de Banca Europeană de Investiții pentru a ajuta Europa să treacă cu succes prin tranziția ecologică și digitală și avem, în egală măsură, nevoie ca BEI să continue să își îndeplinească rolul tradițional de investitor în infrastructura și coeziunea Uniunii și cred că aceste două roluri nu se contrazic, ci trebuie să meargă mână în mână. Iar acest lucru este foarte clar când vorbim despre Mecanismul pentru o tranziție justă, pentru care banca are o responsabilitate mare de asumat.

Nu trebuie să lăsăm în urmă zonele miniere, iar pentru asta avem nevoie de BEI atât pentru a asigura fluxuri de finanțare în acest sector, dar și pentru a ajuta proactiv aceste regiuni prin asistență tehnică specializată. Tot de o atenție mai mare au nevoie și fermierii noștri. Vedem foarte clar că sectorul agricol are, din păcate, una din cele mai mici rate de succes a proiectelor.

Dar dacă vrem ca agricultura să contribuie la tranziția ecologică, dacă vrem ca tinerii să se întoarcă în mediul rural, dacă vrem alimente sănătoase și accesibile, atunci avem nevoie și de mai mult sprijin din partea băncii pentru ca IMM-urile agricole sau tinerii fermieri să aibă acces la finanțare și la asistență, de exemplu prin extinderea mandatului Advisory Hub, inclusiv la domeniul agricol și de dezvoltare rurală.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Während wir hier über unsere Investitionsbank sprechen, brennen an vielen Orten der Welt die Wälder.

Unsere Investitionsbank, die Europäische Investitionsbank, handelt gegen den Klimawandel, sie hat merklich den Kurs geändert. Ich bin Ihnen, Herr Hoyer, auch persönlich dankbar für das, was Sie beim Kohleausstieg gegen harten Widerstand vieler Mitgliedstaaten, auch unseres eigenen, getan haben. Aber gleichzeitig reicht das nicht.

Wir brauchen jetzt den Ausstieg aus den nicht Erneuerbaren. Wir können nicht länger in sogenannte Übergangstechnologien investieren. Es ist keine Zeit mehr für Autobahnen, für neue Gasinfrastrukturen. Ein solcher Übergang ist letztlich ein Übergang in die Hölle.

Und deshalb ist es auch falsch, wenn jetzt die Europäische Kommission bei ihrer Sustainable-Finance-Strategie, die sie morgen vorstellt, Herr Kommissar, wieder Referenzen auf Gas, fossiles Gas, macht. Wir brauchen 100 % Erneuerbare. Wir Grünen streiten für eine Investitionsbank, die sich auf 100 % Erneuerbare verpflichtet.

 
  
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  Joachim Kuhs, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Präsident Hoyer, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kollegen! Die Berichte enthalten viel Gutes, und die EIB tut auch viel Gutes. Aber in den Berichten finden sich leider auch einige negative Dinge – vor allem am Ende –, und darauf möchte ich noch einmal ganz kurz eingehen.

Erstens gibt es mangelnde Transparenz zwischen den zwischengeschaltetenFinanzinstituten. Es gibt mangelnde Informationen über die Endbegünstigten. Es gibt mangelnde Offenlegung des wirtschaftlichen Eigentums einiger Kunden – und dann dieses Problem mit der kurzfristigen Folgebeschäftigung von mehreren Vizepräsidenten.

Aber das eigentliche Problem ist doch, dass der Europäische Rechnungshof immer noch keine vollen Prüfungsbefugnisse hat. Und daran müssen wir arbeiten. Wenn es uns nicht gelingt, das zu lösen, dann werden wir auch in zehn Jahren immer noch über die gleichen Probleme diskutieren, und die EIB kann ihren Auftrag nicht erfüllen.

 
  
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  Eugen Jurzyca, za skupinu ECR. – Vážený pán predsedajúci, podľa plánu Komisie má aj Európska investičná banka prispieť k dodatočným 350 miliardám nových investícií na klimatické ciele, a to každý rok do roku 2030. Pre oživenie však nestačí, aby boli investície označené za zelené. Pre oživenie je nutné, aby investície boli produktívne, aby prinášali dlhodobý hospodársky rast a aby plnili klimatické ciele efektívne. Je nutné, aby všetky investičné ciele EIB podliehali nezávislému hodnoteniu ich hodnoty za peniaze. Bez hodnoty za peniaze môžu skončiť ciele Únie na rok 2030 podobne ako už zabudnutá ambícia stať sa do roku 2010 najkonkurencieschopnejšou ekonomikou sveta, teda so zbytočne obmedzeným hospodárskym rastom a zbytočne drahou plnením klimatických cieľov.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας The Left. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, κ. Hoyer και κ. Dombrovskis, με την έκθεση που θα υπερψηφίσουμε με ευρύτατη πλειοψηφία, ζητά από την Ευρωπαϊκή Τράπεζα Επενδύσεων να κάνει περισσότερα. Όσα θετικά βήματα έχουν γίνει μέχρι σήμερα δεν αρκούν. Χρειαζόμαστε περισσότερες επενδύσεις και λιγότερες ανισότητες. Να ενισχυθούν περισσότερο οι μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις, ώστε να συμβάλει στον πράσινο και ψηφιακό μετασχηματισμό τους, γιατί πολλές από αυτές είναι αποκλεισμένες από τον τραπεζικό δανεισμό. Να εστιάσει περισσότερο στις επενδύσεις στον κοινωνικό τομέα (υγεία, εκπαίδευση, στέγαση), για να αρχίσει να γίνεται πράξη ο κοινωνικός πυλώνας. Να αντιμετωπιστούν οι περιφερειακές ανισότητες, να διορθωθούν οι ανισορροπίες στην επενδυτική δραστηριότητα της ΕΤΕπ και να υπηρετηθούν πιο φιλόδοξα οι κλιματικοί στόχοι που έχουμε θέσει, χωρίς να χρησιμοποιείται η πανδημία ως πρόσχημα για εκπτώσεις. Και δύο πάγια αιτήματα του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου: περισσότερη διαφάνεια και δημοκρατική λογοδοσία, και βελτίωση στον τομέα της ισότητας των φύλων, ιδιαίτερα για τις σοβαρές καταγγελίες για θέματα παρενόχλησης.

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (NI). – Elnök Úr! Örömmel hallottam, hogy Dombrovskis biztos úr is szorgalmazta, hogy az Európai Beruházási Bank a tevékenysége kapcsán igazságosan járjon el a technológiai átmenet finanszírozása, illetve hitelezési politikájában pedig a földrajzi egyensúly érvényesítése terén. Én további három kérést szeretnék megfogalmazni a bank felé: Először is, hogy dolgozzon szorosabban együtt a nemzeti fejlesztési bankokkal, hiszen csak így tudjuk összehangolni az uniós, nemzeti és regionális fejlesztési programokat. Legyen tehát a bank fogadókész, a tagállamokból érkező kérések iránt.

Másodszor, hogy mindenhol mérjük egységesen a haladást, tehát, hogy ki hol tart a kitűzött gazdasági és klímacélok teljesítésében. Kérem, hogy osszák meg mérési módszertanukat és fenntarthatósági-mutató számaikat a nemzeti fejlesztési és partnerbankokkal. Az átláthatóság segíti a célok elérését, és így fel se merülhet a kettős mérce vádja.

Végezetül, hogy ne csak az elvek szintjén, hanem a gyakorlatban is minél több kis- és középvállalkozás jusson gyorsan támogatáshoz, így érhetjük el, hogy az életképes projektek megvalósulnak, javul a versenyképesség, és végre magunk mögött hagyhatjuk a válságot.

 
  
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  Ralf Seekatz (PPE). – Herr Präsident, verehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die EIB hat mit ihrem Förderprogramm für 2020 wesentlich zur Stabilisierung beigetragen.

420 000 kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen wurden unterstützt. Dadurch wurden vier Millionen Jobs – auch im KMU Bereich – unterstützt und gesichert. Arbeitsplätze konnten gesichert werden, krisengebeutelte Branchen wurden entsprechend gefördert, und die schwersten wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen wurden abgefedert. Auch die langfristigen Ziele hat die EIB nicht vergessen. Gerade in wirtschaftlichen Zeiten ist es besonders wichtig, Wirtschaft auch nachhaltig vernünftig zu fördern und entsprechend zu unterstützen.

Von besonderer Bedeutung ist die Förderung unserer kleinen und mittelständischen Unternehmen. Diese dürfen wir nicht vergessen, sehr geehrter Herr Präsident. Das ist besonders wichtig aus unserer Sicht. Sie sind das Rückgrat unserer Wirtschaft, und ohne die KMU werden wir die Klimaziele nicht erreichen. Und diese KMU brauchen Übergangstechnologien, ob es den Grünen nun einmal passt oder nicht, und darüber müssen wir uns im Klaren sein.

Bitte unterstützen Sie weiter unsere mittelständische Industrie und auch die Übergangstechnologien.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, stimați colegi, astăzi analizăm un raport foarte important. Banca Europeană de Investiții, așa cum știm, are o importanță deosebită în finanțare, mai ales acum, după criza pandemică.

Trebuie însă să-mi manifest nemulțumirea și mă surprinde că domnul președinte BEI, în cuvântul domniei sale, a arătat că este mulțumit de cât a finanțat IMM-urile, ori în raport rezultă foarte clar că din totalul fondului de finanțare doar 40 % a fost alocat IMM-urilor, iar noi avem în Uniunea Europeană 98 % IMM-uri.

Așadar, domnule președinte, eu susțin creșterea capitalului ca să avem un capital adecvat la BEI, dar, vă rog frumos, să vă orientați mai mult spre IMM-uri, spre cele care au cea mai mică rezistență la criză și, de asemenea, trebuie să vedem cum putem să creștem ritmul cu fondul de garantare pentru că ritmul este foarte lent.

Avem mai mult de un an de zile în care IMM-urile, HoReCa, turismul sunt în suferință și abia primele fonduri au fost aprobate la sfârșitul anului 2020. Doresc să mai subliniez că eu cred că BEI trebuie să-și revizuiască politica de creditare în domeniul transportului. Știm cu toții cât de important este transportul ca componentă în costul produselor, ca importanță pentru turism, ca importanță în Green Deal. De aceea, sper ca în anul 2021 să avem fonduri adecvate pentru acest domeniu al transportului.

Nu pot să nu spun că nu s-a realizat ceea ce tot sperăm prin investiții și anume eliminarea dezechilibrelor majore. Avem încă regiuni și state în care nu s-a realizat o coeziune socială și sper, domnule comisar, să ne explicați cum credeți că s-a răspuns coordonat, când știm bine că fiecare țară, în acest an de pandemie, a acționat diferit din punct de vedere al accesului pe piața internă.

 
  
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  Luis Garicano (Renew). – Señor presidente, señor Dombrovskis, señor Hoyer, el Banco Europeo de Inversiones que usted dirige es esencial para la economía europea, y lo ha demostrado una vez más durante la pandemia. Y es esencial porque es creíble y es eficaz. Y esa credibilidad, señor Hoyer, hay que protegerla como oro en paño. Por eso, resulta inexplicable que una vicepresidenta del Banco haya pasado directamente por una puerta giratoria del Consejo de Administración del Banco al de Iberdrola con, aparentemente, el visto bueno del propio Banco Europeo de Inversiones.

El conflicto de interés, señorías, es evidente: la vicepresidenta estaba a cargo de los préstamos a España y, en particular, de los préstamos a Iberdrola, que es uno de los principales clientes del Banco. Mil cuatrocientos millones de euros se habían prestado desde 2019 a esta compañía. En las ruedas de prensa en las que se anuncian estos préstamos aparece la señora Navarro hombro con hombro con el presidente de Iberdrola, para el que ahora mismo trabaja.

Señor Hoyer, las instituciones tienen que ser limpias y parecerlo. Por eso, en la evaluación que este Parlamento hace de su actividad le pedimos que dé explicaciones sobre la permisividad de su Comité de Ética sobre estos escándalos de puertas giratorias y también que revise las reglas que permiten que estos escándalos ocurran.

Finalmente, le recordamos que el Defensor del Pueblo Europeo calificó de mala administración una decisión similar de la Autoridad Bancaria Europea, y, por eso, le pedimos, señor Hoyer, que el Banco Europeo de Inversiones haga lo necesario para evitar estas situaciones en el futuro.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Señor presidente, señor vicepresidente, señor presidente Hoyer, yo también quiero referirme al caso de la vicepresidenta Emma Navarro, que, como todo el mundo sabe, estuvo durante dos años de vicepresidenta del BEI y después saltó, al cabo de cuatro meses de haber dejado el cargo, directamente a una empresa, Iberdrola, que había recibido bajo su mandato directo proyectos y financiación por hasta 1 400 millones de euros.

Lo que es sorprendente es que el Comité de Ética del Banco autorizara eso, diera ese waiver. Es incomprensible, algo no funciona bien: o el Comité de Ética no hace bien su trabajo o el Reglamento interno no es suficientemente claro al respecto. Y creo, por lo tanto, que algo debe ser revisado, y yo celebro que la defensora del pueblo europea, a denuncia del Grupo de los Verdes, haya iniciado una investigación para ver qué se ha hecho mal. Y mucho me temo que probablemente concluirá de la misma forma que concluyó con el caso del señor Ádám Farkas, diciendo que ese waiver no debería haberse dado jamás.

Por último, le pedimos transparencia: queremos la resolución del Comité de Ética entera. Acabamos de recibir una respuesta por parte del BEI que nos invita a ir a Luxemburgo a una sala de lectura a leerla. Creo que una institución tan importante como el BEI merece ser mucho más transparente hacia sus ciudadanos.

 
  
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  Hélène Laporte (ID). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, mes chers collègues, même s’il faut soutenir le rôle de la BEI dans la mobilisation des financements en faveur de l’économie et en particulier des PME, les deux rapports pour les années 2019 et 2020 esquivent des questions de fond.

Tout d’abord, des financements qui ne seront accordés qu’à l’aune de la décarbonation me semblent excessifs et ne doivent pas se réaliser au détriment d’autres secteurs piliers pour la relance économique, comme la numérisation. Ensuite, je souhaite un retour d’expérience empreint d’exigence et d’humilité sur les projets qui ont fait l’objet d’une mauvaise évaluation et qui concernent pour la plupart des projets extra-européens. Ce noble objectif d’aide au développement avec les pays tiers souffre de nombreux exemples de projets comportant une absence de contreparties sociales et environnementales claires lors de l’attribution des prêts.

Enfin, je regrette que les prêts au profit de la Turquie, un pays qui ne respecte pas des principes fondamentaux de liberté et de démocratie, aient atteint 385 millions d’euros en 2018, soit un montant global de 28,9 milliards d’euros depuis 2000. L’Union européenne, à travers la BEI, a été faible en n’actionnant pas les clauses contractuelles autorisant la suspension des paiements avec la Turquie. J’invite cette institution multilatérale à recentrer ses investissements au sein de l’Union européenne, car ils doivent bénéficier aux États membres qui en sont les seuls actionnaires.

 
  
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  Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR). – Voorzitter, president Hoyer, vicevoorzitter Dombrovskis, de COVID-19-pandemie heeft ons leven deels on hold gezet, maar heeft de uitdagingen waarvoor we staan tegelijkertijd verscherpt. We moeten meer investeren in onze mensen, onze bedrijven en onze toekomst.

Iedereen is het hierover eens en inmiddels zijn ook de nodige middelen ter beschikking gesteld. De kwaliteit van de uitvoering is echter minstens zo belangrijk. We rekenen daarvoor op de Europese Investeringsbank, zowel voor de eigenlijke investeringen als voor het advies dat de bank bij de opzet van projecten verstrekt.

Om deze reden staan we achter de versterking en de voortdurende verbetering van de professionele structuur van de EIB. Daarbij stellen we de volgende drie absolute voorwaarden voor een kwaliteitsvolle dienstverlening: de nodige capaciteit en deskundigheid om duurzame partnerschappen tot stand te brengen, de coördinatie tussen de verschillende nationale en regionale spelers, en een bedrijfscultuur die gedreven wordt door de zoektocht naar innovatieve investeringen die de groei ondersteunen.

De EIB is van cruciaal belang als we sterker uit de huidige COVID-19-crisis willen komen.

 
  
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  Dorien Rookmaker (NI). – Mr President, the financial crisis more than a decade ago caused a tsunami of regulations – 15% more regulations in the banking sector every year. It wrecked the banking system. The recent crisis, the COVID crisis, led to panic within the EU. Governments feared bankruptcies and recession. In reaction to COVID, the EU decided to introduce a huge stimulus programme, the Next Generation EU. Billions of euros are flooding directly towards EU Member States. The extra billions of euros create political tension in and between Member States. The stakes are high. What would you do if suddenly you got your hands on a couple of billion euros?

While politicians in Member States fight, the EU is drowning in euros. The European Investment Bank will have to cope with this situation. My question is, will it lower its standards, which will lead to more risk, or give up its market share?

 
  
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  Tomáš Zdechovský (PPE). – Pane předsedající, pane místopředsedo Evropské komise, vážený pane Hoyere, ano, záleží nám na tom, aby peníze z Evropské investiční banky fungovaly efektivně, proto se to jmenuje investiční banka. My máme investovat do projektů, které půjdou do budoucnosti a které budou efektivní. Není důležité, jestli je ten projekt zelený, modrý nebo fialový, ale je důležité, aby ten projekt opravdu zafungoval jako takový efekt v Evropské unii, který spustí další a další projekty. Neměli bychom tvořit další bariéry mezi členskými státy tím, že v jednom podpoříme nějaké odvětví a v jiném ne. A já si myslím, že bychom měli veškeré naše úsilí soustředit na efektivitu. Možná se to některým nebude líbit, ale ne všechno, co se na první pohled může zdát zelené, může být nakonec i efektivní a může vést k cílům, které jsme si dali.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Mr President, the EIB is the essential entity to sustain EU policy on investment and to facilitate financial support for major projects. Its newly acquired role as the EU’s climate bank makes sense. Its work in the EU’s partner countries is commendable. Still, major concerns about the bank’s operational outcomes persist. Geographical imbalances in the EIB’s lending remain a vital structural handicap. How can it be acceptable that in 2019 just four Member States between them received almost 50% of loans granted?

New criteria assuring a broader geographical allocation of investments are needed. There should be a higher prioritisation for regions traditionally burdened with an investment deficit, in particular those having geographical disadvantages such as the EU’s peripheral and insular regions. Any shortfall in the general investment requirements for COVID—19 recovery and for the Green Deal will weigh most heavily on these regions.

So funding strategies must be adapted to fit the geography, not least for projects related to transport and energy. Another major issue is transparency, including the sharing with MEPs of information on the EIB’s financing activities. One fails to understand the reasoning behind the EIB’s sudden decision to terminate the dissemination of its European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) monthly state-of-play reports back in June 2018. A permanent mechanism of info-sharing must be in place, and the funding of approved lending per sector and per country. I look forward to continued dialogue between the European Parliament and the EIB. Together we can succeed and achieve a holistic and fair green transition of the European economy on a give-and-take basis.

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, with financing of over EUR 60 billion per year, the European Investment Bank is a key player in putting EU policy into action. At the core of EU policy stands the Green Deal to decarbonise our economy and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. Therefore, we demand full alignment of the EIB with at least the goals of the Paris Agreement. This seems to be logical, but apparently it’s not. When we Greens look at the annual report of the EIB we think that it doesn’t fit together that the EIB claims to be a climate bank when half of its investments still go to heavy polluters.

We in the European Parliament call for decarbonisation plans to be in place for EIB counterparties, with clear timelines and targets based on science. For the public sector loan facility, where the EIB will be the main finance partner, the standards do indeed help the Just Transition. But for a real ecological, social transition in Europe, we need an EIB that is more courageous than ever to support the right investments. We have to fight against climate change by being ambitious.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Mr President, may I welcome President Hoyer back to the European Parliament. Without any doubt the European Investment Bank (EIB) played a crucial role in helping us overcome the pandemic in Europe and reduce the impacts of the pandemic on people, businesses and regions; in particular, the support given to help small and medium—sized enterprises cope with liquidity shortages was very welcome on the ground.

I believe that the EIB can play an even greater role in the medium and longer term now that all of the pieces of legislation are in place when it comes to strengthening our economy. When we negotiated the Recovery and Resilience Facility we allowed Member States to allocate up to 4% of their national envelopes into national compartments of InvestEU. Unfortunately, not many Member States have made use of this prerogative so far because they lack technical assistance. Please provide national and local levels with the best technical assistance as needed.

And my last point, transparency: we are going to spend more money than ever in the next few years at European level, and the more we spend, the more we need to make sure that money reaches the beneficiaries that it is intended for. Please, also as a bank, help us in this endeavour and allocate enough resources for fraud prevention and detection.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Mr President, while some sense of normality is resuming in our economies and societies, we cannot forget that many businesses all over Europe are still under severe strain. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has been an important support and lifeline throughout the crisis with its EUR 46 billion-worth of COVID—19 funding projects, and 425 000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have benefited. That is a valuable contribution. But this contribution must translate into more financial resources to enable the EIB not only to address the post-pandemic recovery, but also to drive forward key EU priorities: as has been said, the Green Deal, a Europe fit for the digital age and an equal and fairer Europe.

My country, Ireland, has benefited from EUR 19 billion-worth of financing from the EIB since the start of its operations, providing crucial support for our transport infrastructure and renewable energy. This has helped transform our economy, but given the enormous environmental and post-pandemic challenges we now face, public and private investment has never been more important. We need a strong and well financed EU bank to do this.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, President Hoyer, honourable Members, I would like to thank you for today’s productive debate. The committees’ reports testify that, overall, the EIB is on a very good path, in particular as a front-runner on climate action and as a role model for other international financial institutions in their quest to become Paris-aligned.

I also thank Parliament for its support in the discussions on the EIB’s role as the EU’s major partner in implementing EU funding. I very much look forward to continuing these discussions and for our close cooperation.

 
  
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  Werner Hoyer, President EIB. – Mr President, Members of the European Parliament, you have bombarded me with 40 points, which I have written down, which I should refer to now, and I’ve been given five minutes... so that is going to be difficult. But I promise each and every point that has been raised by you will be responded to directly or indirectly, and we will ask our colleagues in the Brussels office to contact you if necessary and possible.

First of all, let me thank the European Parliament for the support that we have always enjoyed for the work of the EIB. It is about the preservation of the role of and the standing of the Bank to deliver its mandate. Sometimes you might want to talk about a new legal basis for this Bank, but then you need to change the treaty. To be honest, the Bank is owned by the Member States of the European Union, and that’s it. One can change that, I have nothing against the idea, but then please go to the European Council and the other formations and try to find Treaty change on that.

I’d like to start with a more general point, which is really on my mind and a heavy burden on it. We know exactly that we will overcome the big challenges and we will meet the big challenges only via innovative means. We need to be more innovative. The fact is that the Member States of the European Union and the Union itself, for the last 16 years, have on average invested 1.6% of GDP less into research, development and innovation than our competitors in North America and Asia. And nobody should believe that this goes without an impact on our competitiveness and our productivity growth.

So we need to address that issue first. And this is why I insist, violently, that we need not, that we must not take innovation, climate and development apart, it all belongs together. And nobody should hide behind the virus when it comes to these necessary activities in the field of innovation, climate and development.

I have heard with great joy that, for instance, Mr Silva Pereira expressed the wish for an institutional agreement between the EP and the EIB. I would appreciate a discussion on this and I also heard that some of you want to visit Luxembourg – you are always welcome. We should organise this indeed. I do not see too many MEPs in Luxembourg, but too few. So let’s change that. We can get into good dialogue there.

You also referred to the European Guarantee Fund (EGF). I think we have had your great support, and the call for the continuation of the EGF – which is currently gaining a good implementation speed – is highly appreciated. Some of your remarks were music to my ears, but it’s not up to me to change this.

On transparency, Mr Eickhout referred to transparency and also to intermediated lending, you will know that we not only review our transparency policy but we also look at the review of our environmental and social standards. Both processes are ongoing: we should keep the discussion going on on these issues. I take that extremely seriously.

When it comes to the governance issues, we have updated the codes of conduct in 2019, and further adaptations are taking place right now – this covers the code of conduct of the Board, the Management Committee and the Audit Committee. In this context, let me say that I take the sentences that I heard about a former colleague of the Management Committee very, very seriously. But it’s a very individual case, and it has been referred to the European Ombudsman, which I respect, and I think it is in the very best hands there. We have delivered all information, we operate with full transparency there, but I need to protect a colleague who, in my view, is not being attacked in a fair way. We have played it by the rules and by the book, and she has, and therefore I insist that we don’t come to premature conclusions before the European Ombudsman has taken a position. I trust that we have done the right thing there.

There were a couple of allegations concerning the personnel situation in the bank and I must say that some of the allegations that I’ve read in newspapers I simply cannot understand. And some of these were vicious. The EIB staff is highly motivated and proud to work for the bank. The EIB staff show a high degree of loyalty, otherwise we would have a little bit more rotation and mobility, but once we are in Luxembourg, they don’t go away anymore.

The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, put additional stress on every institution and we tried to help people who are suffering from it. But the most important thing is that we are seriously trying to improve the culture of the institution, and one issue that has helped us in getting closer to where we want to be is through considerable progress on gender equality. And one last word, in this context: we have zero tolerance for harassment at the EIB. And that is something that needs to be said, particularly today when Luxembourg celebrates Pride Week.

So we are reviewing our environmental and social sustainability framework, and following the calls from the European Parliament, as part of the review, the EIB group will propose a new standard for intermediate finance to ensure the highest level of integrity and compliance of the financial intermediaries and their projects.

I have heard a word on the European Financial Architecture for Development (EFAD), which I loved. I think it comes through now more or less clearly that it is important to have one development finance institution that is run by the European Union and its Member States only. In the case of conflict, no Russian, no Chinese, no American, no Egyptian can intervene and block things. And we need to live up to this responsibility. This is why, to be quite clear, I believe that we should not reduce but expand our development business, particularly in the context of climate, innovation and development, and therefore we should organise ourselves better – in what form we can discuss. I believe as a subsidiary of EIB to which we might invite others like the European Commission or the national promotional banks or development agencies, is the best solution. But we have seen that according to the Council conclusions of June, we will now have in the third quarter of 2021 to deliver a report and a set of ideas to the EU institutions in this context.

So things will pick up speed now quickly. I am sorry, Mr President, I still have 25 pages here, but I promise you that I will really respond to each and every one in writing or in a personal approach. Thank you very much, it was a pleasure to be here.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Mit dem abschließenden Satz haben Sie, glaube ich, das Tor geöffnet, die weiteren Fragen zu beantworten.

Die gemeinsame Aussprache ist damit geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Dienstag, 6. Juli 2021, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID), schriftlich. – Der Bericht bezieht auch die EIB als den öffentlichen Kreditgeber der EU ein. Dies ist gemäß den Verträgen falsch. Die EIB ist rechtlich gesehen die völkerrechtlich geregelte Bank der Mitgliedstaaten. Es ist keine EU—Institution und kein öffentlicher Kreditgeber. Die Anteilseigner der EIB sind die Mitgliedstaaten und sie sind für die Investitionsentscheidungen verantwortlich. Es ist nicht die Aufgabe der Kommission oder des Parlaments, ihre Investitionsentscheidungen zu beeinflussen. Der Bericht fordert auch eine Kapitalerhöhung der EIB. Nach dem Austritt des Vereinigten Königreichs wurde das Kapital erheblich reduziert. Dies würde bedeuten, dass alle Mitgliedstaaten zusätzlich Kapital bei der EIB aufnehmen müssten. Der Bericht enthält zudem einige seltsame Empfehlungen, beispielsweise die Aufforderung an die EIB, in Fahrräder für abgelegene Gemeinden zu investieren, oder die Forderung an die EZB, bevorzugt in von Frauen geführte KMU zu investieren. Während Europa dringend Investitionen benötigt, lobt der Bericht die Zunahme der Investitionen der EIB in Drittländern. Ein Land wie die Türkei, das aktiv gegen die Interessen der EU und seiner Bürger arbeitet, hat seit dem Jahr 2000 fast 30 Milliarden Euro erhalten. Das muss aufhören. Die EIB ist eine Investitionsbank, keine Wohltätigkeitsorganisation für politische Träumereien und die korrupten autokratischen Freunde von EU—Regierungsparteien.

 
Posljednje ažuriranje: 1. listopada 2021.Pravna obavijest - Politika zaštite privatnosti