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Neighbourhood Investment Facility

Neighbourhood Investment Facility

What is the NIF?

Officially launched in 2008, the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) is a mechanism aimed at mobilising additional funding to finance capital-intensive infrastructure projects in EU partner countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in sectors such as transport, energy, environment and social development. The NIF also supports the private sector, mainly through investment grants and risk capital operations targeting small and medium-sized enterprises.

It does so by pooling grant resources from the EU budget and the EU Member States and using them to leverage loans from European Financial Institutions as well as contributions from the ENP partner countries themselves.

In this way, the European Union backs its neighbours' priorities and supports them in carrying out key investments and boosting economic development. This is expected to have a significant positive impact on their population as well as on European citizens given our common interests in stability and welfare.

By pooling different resources, the NIF plays a key role in donor coordination and increasing aid effectiveness in accordance with the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action.

In addition, the NIF supports the implementation of regional and multilateral processes, in particular the Union for the Mediterranean, the Southern Mediterranean Investment Coordination Initiative, the Eastern Partnership and the Black Sea Synergy.

Between 2008 and 2014, a grand total of 95 projects have received final approval for NIF support. Funding comes mainly from the EU budget and is complemented by direct contributions from Member States which are kept in a trust fund managed by the European Investment Bank. The total amount of NIF support allocated to projects over this period comes to €1.072 billion, mobilising more than €12 billion provided by the European Financial Institutions (EFIs) and leveraging a total funding volume of more than €25 billion.

A mid-term evaluation of the NIFpdf(8 MB) was concluded in May 2013, covering the period from 2008 until 2011.

Geographical scope

NIF projects operate in the following Neighbourhood partner countries:

  • Eastern Neighbourhood region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine as well as regional east-wide projects.
  • Southern Neighbourhood region: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* , Tunisia as well as regional south-wide projects.

How the NIF operates

To benefit from the NIF, projects have to be developed by eligible EFIs, and - if bilateral - in cooperation with the partner country and the EU Delegation in the country. The Lead Financial Institutions then present the NIF grant requests to the NIF Board for approval. The NIF Board is chaired by the European Commission and composed of representatives of the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the EU Member States as voting members, and the EFIs as observers. Its opinion is subject to a subsequent financing decision by the European Commission, if the funding will come from the EU budget, and is final if the project is to be funded from the NIF Trust Fund.

The following European Public Finance Institutions are recognised by the NIF Board as "eligible", which means that they have signed the respective NIF Framework Arrangement:

The Secretariat of the NIF is in charge of organising the NIF Board meetings and of implementing its decisions. It is located within the European Commission, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Unit A4 "Financial Assistance: Policy and Strategy".

A project data base is available here.

The NIF Strategic Orientation 2014 – 2020pdf(222 kB) provide the policy framework for NIF operations in the coming years.

The NIF annual/multiannual reports give an overview of all operations approved since 2008:

In case you should require additional information do not hesitate to contact us.

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*This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.

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Last update: 26/10/2015