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Coordination with the European Investment Bank

DG ECFIN is responsible for the exercise of the rights and obligations given to the Commission by the Treaties with respect to the European Investment Bank.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the Union’s financing institution which contributes to European integration, development and cohesion by financing projects in support of EU policies. Although the majority of projects financed by the EIB are located within the EU, the EIB also carries out operations outside the Union.

The EIB is managed by the Board of Governors, the Board of Directors and the Management Committee.

In accordance with the EIB Statute, the Commission has designated one Director (the Director-General of DG ECFIN) and one Alternate Director (the Director-General of DG REGIO) to the Board of Directors of the EIB, which comprises 26 Directors and 16 Alternate Directors in total.

DG ECFIN is responsible for the formulation of the Commission's position on the strategic orientation of the EIB. In particular, it prepares briefings for the Director and the Alternate Director on the agenda points before they participate in board meetings. It also prepares speaking and briefing notes for the Commissioner participating in the EIB Board of Governors. The briefings may concern policy questions, general questions, specific loan projects, statistical tables and other summary information for the board members.

The Board of Directors meets nine to ten times a year. Its main tasks are to:

  • ensure that the EIB is managed in keeping with the European Treaties, the EIB’s statute and the directives laid down by the governors;
  • approve the granting of loans;
  • authorise the conclusion of guarantees and borrowings; and
  • recommend changes in the bank’s credit policy to the Board of Governors.

Article 21 procedure

Article 21 of the EIB Statute requires that all proposals to give loans from its own resources must be submitted for a Commission opinion before being presented to the EIB Board of Directors for approval.

In 1975, the Commission set up the ‘Groupe Interservice BEI’ (GIB). The GIB has a mandate to prepare, on behalf of the Commission, a collegiate opinion on the compliance with Community rules and policies of requests for financing received by the EIB. DG ECFIN acts as the co-ordinator of the GIB.

However, it is important to note that assessments on such aspects as project profitability, financial risk, etc., are outside the scope of the Article 21 procedure and remain the EIB's sole responsibility.

EIB mandates

The EU has given the EIB a number of mandates to perform certain lending operations under a EU budgetary guarantee. Following a mid-term review, the EP and Council approved the latest mandate, covering the period 2007-2013, in November 2011. DG ECFIN assures the review of existing mandates and prepares new ones. For the period 2014-2020, the Commission issued a new proposal on 23 May 2013.

Proposal for a Decision on an EU guarantee to the EIB for financing operations supporting investment projects outside the Union in the period 2014-2020.

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