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IP/10/450

Brussels, 21 April 2010

Commission tables proposal for the EIB external mandate until 2013

The European Commission presented today its proposal for the external mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the remainder of the financial perspectives (until 2013). The proposal foresees to activate the EUR 2 billion optional mandate to the fight against climate change. In its proposal the Commission replaces the current system of regional objectives for operations under the EU guarantee with horizontal objectives, while placing more emphasis on development aspects of EIB financing. The Commission also proposes to activate the EIB external mandate for Iceland, Belarus, Libya, Iraq and Cambodia. The proposal will now be discussed by the Council and Parliament.

Commissioner Olli Rehn said: "I am glad to present today the Commission proposal for the EIB external mandate which focuses on climate change and development. It is a very balanced and solid proposal which benefitted greatly from external advice and assessments, in particular from the Steering Committee of Wise Persons chaired by Michel Camdessus. The EIB plays an important role in Europe's response to the global economic and financial crisis as well as to our global challenges, within the EU and outside. It is therefore crucial to enhance the mandate so as to allow EIB to pursue its external work until 2013."

The EIB is the financing arm of the EU. Its lending volume in 2009 reached EUR 79 billion of which around EUR 9 billion concerned projects outside the EU. On 21 April 2010 the Commission adopted its mid-term report on the external mandate of the EIB under EU guarantee as well as a proposal for its amendment. The mid-term report concluded that the EIB external mandate, underpinned by the EU guarantee, is an effective means to serve EU external policies by financing relevant projects in partner countries.

The proposed decision will ensure continuation of the EU guarantee for EIB external financing for the remainder of the current financial perspectives 2007-2013 whilst introducing a number of new elements in the decision, in particular:

  • Activation of the EUR 2 billion optional mandate, which was placed in reserve by the existing decision. This optional mandate will be activated as a mandate dedicated to projects which contribute to the fight against climate change across all regions covered by the decision.

  • Replacing the current system of regional objectives for operations under the EU guarantee with horizontal objectives covering all regions under the external mandate. These objectives cover the areas of climate change, social and economic infrastructure and local private sector development.

  • Development by the Commission, together with the EIB, of operational guidelines for each region under the external mandate, reflecting EU regional strategies.

  • Strengthening of the capacity of the EIB to support EU development objectives through enhancing the EIB's appraisal and monitoring of social and development aspects of projects and increasing the focus of EIB intervention in sectors which will further develop objectives in third countries, such as environmental infrastructure including water and sanitation, sustainable transportation and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The EIB should also progressively increase its activity in support of health and education.

  • Activation of the EIB external mandate for Iceland, Belarus, Libya, Iraq and Cambodia.

Background

Article 9 of Decision No 633/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 granting a Community Guarantee to the European Investment Bank against losses under loans and loan guarantees for projects outside the Community (the Decision) requires the Commission to present a mid-term report by 30 April 2010 on the application of the Decision, accompanied by a proposal for its amendment, drawing inter alia on an external evaluation.

As required by the Decision, the mid-term review builds on an external evaluation supervised and managed by a Steering Committee of Wise Persons (SCWP) chaired by Michel Camdessus, on an evaluation carried out by an external consultancy (COWI) and on specific evaluations carried out by the evaluation department of the European Investment Bank (EIB). On 12 February 2010, the SCWP submitted a report to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the EIB containing its conclusions and recommendations. The findings of the evaluation reports are summarised and analysed in the Commission's Mid-term report which presents and assesses the EIB external financing activity in the regions covered by the mandate until the end of 2009.

A Staff Working Document accompanying the proposal provides further details on the possible EIB activity in support of climate change under the EUR 2 billion optional mandate as well as on the rationale to support the proposal to activate the EIB external mandate for Iceland, Belarus, Libya, Iraq and Cambodia.

The Commission transmitted this proposal for a Decision to the European Parliament and the Council and, for information, to the national Parliaments.


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