European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank is the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

's long-term lending institution established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, was an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany...

. A policy-driven bank, the EIB supports the EU’s priority objectives, especially European integration and the development of economically weak regions. Recently, the Bank has also been actively supporting European R&D projects as part of EU's objective of building the world's leading knowledge-based economy. The EIB is currently also active in 150 countries outside of the EU—non-EU South-Eastern European countries, Mediterranean partner countries, ACP countries, Asian and Latin American countries, Russia and other eastern neighbours of the EU. According to the EIB, in these countries, the institution works to implement the financial pillar of the union's external cooperation and development policies: private sector development, infrastructure development, security of energy supply, environmental sustainability.

The EIB is an international financial institution, a publicly owned bank. Its owners are the Member States of the European Union, who subscribe to the Bank's capital – EUR 232 billion (end of 2009). As shareholders the Member States are represented on the Bank's main independent decision-making bodies – the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors. Since the year 2000 the Bank itself became a member of the EIB Group (including its venture capital arm – the European Investment Fund
European Investment Fund
The European Investment Fund, established in 1994, is a European Union agency for the provision of finance to SMEs headquartered in Luxembourg....


The total subscribed capital of the Bank as of end-2009 was EUR 232 billion, of which EUR 11.6 were actually paid-in.
The capital of the EIB was increased through a decision of the EIB's Board of Governors in 2009. The subscribed capital of the EIB was thus virtually doubled between 2007 and 2009.

Because on average EIB extends around EUR 50 billion per year in the form of various loan products, the Bank uses its AAA credit rating
Credit rating
A credit rating evaluates the credit worthiness of an issuer of specific types of debt, specifically, debt issued by a business enterprise such as a corporation or a government. It is an evaluation made by a credit rating agency of the debt issuers likelihood of default. Credit ratings are...

 and funds itself by raising equivalent amounts on the capital markets.

For the fiscal year 2009, EIB approved around EUR 104 billion in various loan products of which EUR 93.6 billion were within the EU and EFTA member states with the remainder dispersed between "partner countries" (in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down in the various agreements linking the European Union to some 150 countries in South and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific).

The headquarters is situated at 100 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer in Kirchberg, Luxembourg
Kirchberg, Luxembourg
Kirchberg or the Kirchberg is a quarter in north-eastern Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. It consists of a plateau situated to the north-east of the city centre, Ville Haute....

. The building's first phase was designed by British architect Sir Denys Lasdun
Denys Lasdun
Sir Denys Lasdun CH was an eminent English architect. Probably his best known work is the Royal National Theatre, on London's South Bank of the Thames, which is a Grade II* listed building and one of the most notable examples of Brutalist design in the United Kingdom.Lasdun studied at the...

 and is one of his few works outside the UK.

The EIB has offices in the different regions in which it operates. Regional offices in Europe:

Athens, Belgrade, Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, Vienna.

Regional offices in the rest of the world:

Ankara, Cairo, Dakar, Fort-de-France, Istanbul, Nairobi, Pretoria, Rabat, Sydney, Tunis.

In 2007, the EIB opened a regional office in Helsinki, located at the headquarters of the Nordic Investment Bank
Nordic Investment Bank
The Nordic Investment Bank is an international financial institution founded in the mid-1970s by the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In 2005, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became members of the Bank. NIB’s headquarters are located in Helsinki, Finland...

 (NIB), with a view to enhancing the Bank’s presence in the Baltic Sea region


As the ‘Bank of the European Union’, the EIB’s mission is to make a difference to the future of Europe and its partners by supporting sound investments which further EU policy goals.


Operating strategy:
  • To finance viable capital projects which further EU objectives
  • To borrow on the capital markets to finance these projects

Lending strategy within the EU

Within the EU the EIB has 6 EU priority objectives for its lending activity.
  • Cohesion and Convergence
  • Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Implementation of the Innovation 2010 Initiative (i2i)
  • Development of Trans-European Networks of transport and energy (TENs)
  • Sustainable, competitive and secure energy

Lending strategy outside the EU

Outside the EU the EIB's priority objectives for lending activity are:
  • Private sector development
  • financial sector development
    Financial sector development
    Financial sector development in developing countries and emerging markets is part of the private sector development strategy to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty....

  • Infrastructure development
  • Security of energy supply
  • Environmental sustainability
  • EU presence

When loaning outside the EU, the bank has lending mandates based on EU external cooperation and development policies, which differ region to region. Its mandates listed by region are:
  1. Pre-Accession: Candidate and Potential Candidate countries in the Enlargement region (states which could possibly join the EU)
  2. European Neighbourhood: Mediterranean Neighbourhood / Russia and Eastern Neighbours
  3. Development: Africa, Pacific and Caribbean (ACP) / Republic of South Africa
  4. Economic Cooperation: Asia and Latin America (ALA)

Within Pre-Accession countries lending activities support both the EU priority lending objectives and the objectives of the external mandates.

Corporate policies

Transparency Policy (renewed in 2010), Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, Governance at the EIB, Complaints Mechanism Policy (renewed in 2010), Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Policy, Integrity Policy and Compliance Charter, Statement on Environmental and Social Principles and Standards, EIB Whistleblowing Policy, EIB Policy towards weakly regulated, non-transparent and uncooperative jurisdictions

The Transparency Policy of the EIB has been heavily criticized by NGOs in the past. In 2004, Article 19
ARTICLE 19 is a London-based human rights organisation with a specific mandate and focus on the defence and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information worldwide...

 issued a memorandum in which it accused the EIB of failing to meet international (including EU) standards on openness. The same year, the NGO coalition Public Funds for Public Benefits called EIB "the least transparent, least accountable and least democratically controlled institution in the family of agencies entrusted with implementing EU policies and among public."
However, NGOs acknowledge important improvements in EIB's transparency since 2004, and new corporate policies adopted in 2010 are thought to go in the right direction. Currently, with its new Transparency Policy, EIB sets exemplary standards in openness and provision of information.


The EIB is governed by the:
  • Board of Governors – usually the Finance Ministers of the Member States. Their mandate is to authorize EIB activities outside the Union, form credit policy guidelines and approve the annual account.

  • Board of Directors – 28 members (one nominated by each member state and one by the European Commission). There are 18 Alternates, meaning that some of these positions will be shared by groupings of States. The Board also co-opts a maximum of 6 experts (3 Directors and 3 Alternates), who participate in the Board meetings in an advisory capacity, without voting rights. The Board has sole power to take decisions in respect of loans, guarantees and borrowings. They are responsible only to the bank.

  • Management Committee – the President of the EIB and 8 Vice Presidents

  • Audit Committee – 6 members appointed by the Board of Governors


  • Pietro Campillli (Italy), February 1958 – May 1959
  • Paride Formentini (Italy), June 1959 – September 1970
  • Yves Le Portz (France), September 1970 – July 1984
  • Ernst-Günther Bröder (Germany), August 1984 – March 1993
  • Sir Brian Unwin (UK), April 1993 – December 1999
  • Philippe Maystadt (Belgium), March 2000 – now

Controversial projects

There are a number of projects financed or under the appraisal procedure by the EIB that raise considerable objections from the local communities and both the international and national NGOs. Below are examples of current or recently approved controversial projects: M10 Motorway in Russia, the Gazela Bridge in Serbia, Sava Bridge in Croatia, D1 Motorway in the Slovakia, Sostanj Power Plant in Slovenia, Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Plant in Uganda, Mopani Copper Mine in Zimbabwe, among others.

See also

  • Institutions of the European Union
    Institutions of the European Union
    The European Union is governed by seven institutions. Article 13 of Treaty on European Union lists them in the following order: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European...

  • European Investment Fund
    European Investment Fund
    The European Investment Fund, established in 1994, is a European Union agency for the provision of finance to SMEs headquartered in Luxembourg....

  • Development Finance Institution
    Development Finance Institution
    Development finance institution is generic term used to refer to a range of alternative financial institutions including microfinance institutions, community development financial institution and revolving loan funds...

External links

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