Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe

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1 Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe The EIB helps to deliver growth, jobs and cohesion in Europe by supporting the implementation of EU regional policy. Through a mixture of loans and advisory services, the EIB plays a critical role in addressing regional economic imbalances and raising living standards across the EU.

2 Economic and social cohesion a core EU policy The EU s cohesion policy aims to help each region achieve its full potential, to bring about a convergence of living standards and prosperity across the EU. It is a policy of investment in job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable territorial development. These investments support the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. European Structural and Investment Funds are also used to support EU macroregional strategies such as those for the Baltic Sea and Danube Regions, the Adriatic and Ionian Region and other regional strategies such as that for the Atlantic. Supported also by the EIB, these strategies are contributing to economic, social and territorial cohesion. Cohesion policy is implemented principally through the EU Structural and Investment Funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. By directing funds to the areas and sectors where they can make the most difference, cohesion policy aims to reduce the significant economic, social and territorial disparities that still exist between Europe s regions. Funding for cohesion policy focuses on strategic areas such as: boosting small and medium-sized businesses; supporting research and innovation; investing in a cleaner environment, energy efficiency and tackling climate change; boosting education and skills, and improving access to digital technology; and The European Investment Bank The EIB is the bank of the European Union. As the world s largest multilateral borrower and lender, we provide finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects, mostly in the EU. We are owned by the 28 Member States and the projects we support contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. Under our external mandates, we also help to implement the financial pillar of the EU s foreign policy, mainly in the preaccession countries of South-East Europe and the neighbouring countries to the South and East. improving transport links to remote regions. 2 Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe

3 How does the EIB support economic and social cohesion? As the EU bank, promoting economic and social cohesion is one of the priorities that guides the EIB throughout its activities. In the programming period, our support for cohesion objectives within the EU amounted to EUR 147bn (38% of total lending in the EU). The EIB s role in prom oting cohesion and convergence, however, goes well beyond just lending. The EIB supports EU regional policy by: Lending to projects and programmes of investment in less advantaged regions, often co-financing with EU funds and helping to attract other investors. Assisting governments to access EU Structural and Investment Funds by co-financing part of their respective national and/or regional contributions. Assisting governments to make the most of EU funds by using them to provide equity, loans and loan guarantees for sectors including regional, urban renewal and environmental projects and SMEs. Providing advisory services to countries and regions to assist them in preparing and raising the quality of investment projects. 147bn EUR EIB Cohesion Priority Regions EIB lending to support cohesion objectives in the EU, EIB Cohesion Priority Regions (in red) cover all less developed and transition regions eligible under the EU Cohesion Policy Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe 3

4 Lending for regional cohesion and growth EIB loans help public and private sector borrowers in less prosperous areas of Europe to implement projects that do not just make commercial sense, but also bring benefits to society as a whole, raising living standards and creating jobs. Loans can be invested in areas such as: key infrastructure, including trans-european networks and sustainable energy, water, waste management, forestry and food security; small, medium-sized and innovative firms; education and training; information and communication technologies; and municipal lending for improved urban living environments. Direct lending We fund large projects directly, with loans of EUR 25m or above. But loans can only cover up to 50% of the investment cost. Often these loans are used to co-finance important projects with grants from EU structural funds. EIB involvement is often important in establishing the value of a project, helping borrowers to mobilise the rest of the capital they need from other sources. Loans for multiple projects We also provide framework loans for programmes comprising a portfolio of subprojects and schemes. These are usually implemented by a public sector entity. They may be multi-sector loans, as in the case of municipal lending, or targeted at specific sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, transport and other types of infrastructure, and urban regeneration. Lending to SMEs The EIB s lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is done through intermediary banks or public entities that have to match the funding that the EIB provides and pass on the advantageous conditions that the EIB can offer. EIB cohesion lending in the EU Total: EUR 147bn Spain (EUR 30.7bn, 20.9%) Poland (EUR 30.2bn, 20.5%) Portugal (EUR 13.1bn, 9.0%) Italy (EUR 11.4bn, 7.7%) Germany (EUR 10.4bn, 7.1%) Hungary (EUR 9.2bn, 6.2%) Greece (EUR 9.0bn, 6.1%) Czech Republic (EUR 7.4bn, 5.0%) Romania (EUR 4.9bn, 3.4%) Slovenia (EUR 3.0bn, 2.1%) Slovakia (EUR 2.7bn, 1.9%) Bulgaria (EUR 2.4bn, 1.6%) United Kingdom (EUR 2.0bn, 1.4%) Other (EUR 10.5bn, 7.1%) Looking forward: EIB cohesion priority lending in EIB lending in the programming period will continue to assist EU cohesion objectives in line with the Europe 2020 strategy and targets set by the Member States in Partnership and Cooperation Programmes. In close coordination with the Member States and the European Commission, we are increasing our focus on blending grants with loans, financial instruments and advisory services to enhance the use of EU funds. 4 Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe

5 Structural programme loans co-financing EU funds Structural programme loans have become increasingly important since the beginning of the economic and financial crisis. Fiscal consolidation has endangered strategic investment and the ability of governments to co-finance and thereby get access to EU grants. EIB structural programme loans help bridge such gaps, allowing critical investment to go ahead and contributing to recovery and growth. In the programming period we lent nearly EUR 20bn through structural programme loans to countries and regions, benefitting a wide range of sectors in order to finance investments as defined by the Member States in their Operational Programmes. This has helped governments gain access to EU grants to finance investment programmes worth over EUR 200bn. A EUR 1.1bn loan in 2009 enabled the Republic of Lithuania to co-finance all three EU-funded Operational Programmes in the country. The EIB funds have been allocated to more than different public sector schemes in a wide range of sectors: education, health, transport and environment, promoting job creation and helping to counteract the severe financial and economic crisis that hit Lithuania in EIB support for the implementation of Greece s National Strategic Reference Framework includes extensive technical assistance as well as a EUR 2bn loan, signed in Over 200 projects were reviewed as part of the Bank s monitoring activity, including the Herodes Atticus archaeological site (pictured). Sector-wide evaluation identified a number of best practices and lessons, which have informed the Bank s knowledge-based contribution to the Greek Partnership Agreement Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe 5

6 Making the most of EU funds Technical support for project design One of the big bottlenecks hindering the implementation of EU cohesion policy is the lack of technical capacity of government bodies in many European countries and regions to design and manage cutting-edge investment projects. This is why the EIB provides advisory services to complement the Bank s lending activity. It not only supports promoters or financial intermediaries in preparing, structuring and implementing projects, but also in the design and implementation of financial instruments. The Bank s know-how can make a big difference to projects within less developed regions or weaker institutional frameworks, and even the most sophisticated borrowers can benefit from expert advice when getting involved in complex initiatives such as public-private partnerships. JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions) provides advice to countries eligible for EU Structural and Cohesion Funds. Assistance is aimed at helping countries prepare sound infrastructure projects and accelerating the absorption of the available EU funds. The Zsoinay Cultural Quarter project in Pécs, Hungary, will host university facilities and a wide range of cultural institutions, expected to attract some visitors a year. In 2013, JASPERS advised on the financial, technical and institutional soundness of the project and provided guidance on risk and cost-benefit analysis methodologies. From 2006 to 2013, JASPERS completed 795 advisory assignments, resulting in EU funding of 310 major projects, with an estimated total cost of EUR 56bn. JASPERS is co-sponsored by the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the German KfW Group. The reconstruction, electrification and upgrading of the Pragersko Hodoš railway line in Slovenia will increase capacity, axle load, speed and safety on the line. JASPERS assisted in improving the feasibility study, project application and finalising the environmental procedures before submission to the Commission. 6 Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe

7 Helping governments use EU funds to finance SMEs and urban renewal The impact of grants provided by EU Structural and Investment Funds can be multiplied if they are used to set up revolving funds to provide loans, loan guarantees or equity investments to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or small investment projects. If grants are used in this way they can also attract capital from other sources, increasing the amount of finance available for investment. In the programming period, the EIB and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF), which specialises in risk finance to SMEs, are continuing to work in collaboration with the European Commission to implement financial instruments of this type that offer an efficient and sustainable alternative to complement traditional grant-based financing. The EIB is thus building on the success of joint programmes under the period, including JESSICA and JEREMIE. JEREMIE Joint European Resources for Small and Medium- Sized Enterprises a partnership between the EIF and the European Commission to help Member States use a part of their Structural Fund allocations to provide finance to small and mediumsized enterprises. By December 2013: JESSICA Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas a joint initiative of the EIB, the European Commission and the Council of Europe Development Bank to support urban development projects. By December 2013: 14 Holding Funds, deploying EUR 1bn from Structural Funds, acting as a catalyst for nearly EUR 3bn for SMEs The Vizbaras brothers conceived the idea to set up Brolis Semiconductors while they were finishing their physics doctorates. To make their project a reality they secured funding and advice from the EIF-backed venture capital fund LitCapital, which operates under the JEREMIE Holding Fund in Lithuania. 18 Holding Funds worth EUR 1.76bn signed 42 Urban Development Funds worth EUR 1.56bn developed In the United Kingdom, the North West Evergreen Fund was created under JESSICA. This Urban Development Fund targets the remediation of brownfield sites and the creation and refurbishment of floor space, with a view to creating jobs. Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe 7

8 Promoting Economic and Social Cohesion in Europe Contacts Information Desk U European Investment Bank , boulevard Konrad Adenauer L-2950 Luxembourg EIB 10/2014 QH EN-C doi: /63913 EIB GraphicTeam, EIB Photolibrary, Lansimetro, DG Regio

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