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Brussels, 18 April 2012

Remarks by Vice-President Rehn on the European Investment Bank's contribution to growth and jobs in the EU

With the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU has a powerful own institution to support growth and employment. The EIB, with a lending capacity several times the size of the World Bank, has been playing a key role in tackling the crisis since 2008. But, it is reaching the limits of what it can do with its current capital.

To allow the EIB to do more for growth and jobs, its capital needs to be addressed, i.e. its capital base needs to be increased. This must be done by its shareholders, the Member States.

For instance, a capital increase by EUR 10 billion would allow the EIB to lend approximately EUR 60 billion, which, in turn would, attract other financing sources for a total investment of EUR 180 billion for new projects.

In addition, the Commission and the EIB are currently looking at possible options for using the EU budget to leverage EIB group financing capacity through risk-sharing schemes. We can build on schemes already developed for research and innovation and with the project bonds for infrastructure, as well as for SMEs with the help of Structural Funds.

So, we are doing our part to look for innovative solutions to reinforce the EIB's lending capacity.

But let me send a clear and constructive message to all EU Member States: for the sake of sustainable growth and job creation, we need more European cross-border and community investment in infrastructure - energy, transport, innovation, research and communications. Therefore, I call on them to provide additional capital to the EIB.

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