(Source: European Investment Bank)
On 6 July 2021, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions on the European Investment Bank’s annual activities:
- “Report on the Financial Activities of the European Investment Bank – annual report 2020”, prepared by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), under the rapporteurship of MEP and EP Vice-President Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D, PT)).
- Adopted with 582 in favour, 62 against, 48 abstentions.
- “Report on the Control of the Financial Activities of the European Investment Bank – annual report 2019”, prepared by the Budgetary Control Committee, under the rapporteurship of Mr Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL)
Adopted with 542 in favour, 82 against, 68 abstentions.
President Hoyer welcomed the reports from the European Parliament and thanked the rapporteurs for their thorough work and the good cooperation. He said that “the issues in the two reports are extremely relevant. I also very much appreciate your support to the EU Bank – both for its activities in and outside the EU”. President Hoyer added that, the EIB Group is an extremely effective instrument to the EU. In 2020, it increased its financing volumes to almost 77 billion EUR, exceeding its own targets.
The President highlighted the role of the Bank in combating the pandemic, both European Parliament’s reports being very supportive of the EIB’s swift and effective response to the Covid-19 crisis: “EUR 25.5 billion, went into the immediate crisis response that started with a first package in March. Most of it went to small and medium-sized businesses to avoid insolvencies and job losses, especially in countries that did not have the budgetary means for massive national rescue packages”.
As of 31 May 2021, the European Guarantee Fund had approved projects of EUR 12.3 billion (EIB 5.9bn, EIF 6.4bn), which is expected to mobilise a total investment of EUR 103.6 billion, above half of EGF’s target.
The President in his speech appreciated that the EP is supportive of the Bank’s climate action ambitions. He emphasised that the “Climate Bank Roadmap is the most ambitious strategy on climate action of all multilateral development banks. From 2025 onwards, 50% of our overall lending will be for climate action and environmental sustainability”.
President Hoyer also mentioned the role of the EIB as the external arm of EU investment to deliver development finance in all parts of the globe. The reform of EIB’s activities outside the EU will strengthen EU development impact and visibility, as well as EU strategic autonomy in areas such as climate action, connectivity, health and digitalisation.
The EIB’s crucial role as the Bank of the EU
The report on the Financial Activities highlights the fundamental role of the EIB as the EU’s public bank – both inside and outside the EU – and underlines the EIB’s crucial role in supporting the economic recovery. It further welcomes the EIB’s rapid COVID-19 response and the creation of the European Guarantee Fund as well as the adoption of the Climate Bank Roadmap.
The report also contains demands regarding the Bank activities and policies, e.g. for increased advisory activity and ambitious biodiversity, gender and dignity at work policies and practices. Among the areas of improvement that are highlighted are transparency at the level of the governing bodies and the call for an EP-EIB inter-institutional agreement.
Recommendations to improve the control of financial activities
The report on the Control of the Financial Activities, suggests improvement regarding the Bank’s Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions policy and gender balance. Among the areas emphasised are related to the role of the European Court of Auditors, accountability and reinforced relations with the EP.
Beyond the recommendations the report is supportive of the EIB and its activities. It welcomes the EIB’s role in the transition to green economy and the Bank’s leading role in the Green Bond Market in 2019 by issuing Climate Awareness Bonds (CABs) and Sustainability Awareness Bonds (SABs). Concerning the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the report noted the positive impact of the European Investment Advisory Hub. The report highlights the new Climate Risk Assessment, the adoption of a new tax policy and the Energy Lending Policy.
The debate on the reports are available on the EP’s website
The links to the resolutions as they were tabled to the plenary are below.