EIB gets bigger migration role
New rules give the bank more rights in lending money outside the EU to prevent future crises
9 February, 2018
The European Investment Bank (EIB) was given last Thursday bigger role in battling the ongoing migration crisis after MEPs adopted a legislation enabling the bank to lend an additional €5.3bn to projects outside the Union, the EP press service reported. Moreover, up to €3.7bn of this amount will be directly earmarked for projects addressing migration issues.
“With this vote, we are going to improve the EU's action abroad through the EIB, increasing our investment capacity to €32.3bn by 2020, with a special effort in Mediterranean countries and the Balkans. We have made sure that all the initiatives financed through this programme contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and thus to eradicating the root causes of migration,” rapporteur Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES) said.
The new rules will also assess the EIB's mandate to lend to non-EU countries, and it will get a fourth “high-level” objective to address the root causes of migration. Special provisions in the law are aimed at preventing money laundering, and fighting terrorism and tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion are strengthened, and last but not least, EIB's lending objective on mitigating climate change has been expanded.
“In order to comply with the Paris agreement and our commitment to help developing countries, we have increased the share of climate change-related investment from 25% to 35%. We have also introduced much more restrictive legislation to prevent money laundering or the financing of terrorism. To this end, the EIB must submit an annual report on the implementation of this policy, including a country-by-country report and a list of the intermediaries with which it cooperates,” Rubial pointed out.
Projects outside the EU account for around 10% of total EIB lending. The EU provides a budgetary guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB), with a maximum ceiling of €30bn (€27bn plus €3bn in reserve) for external operations for the 2014-2020 period. The new rules will release the €3bn kept in reserve. Of this, up to €1.4bn are earmarked for public sector projects addressing the root causes of migration. In addition, €2.3bn for that period are provided for private sector lending for migration-related projects, which, for example, create employment opportunities and improve both the daily living and business environment, raising the ceiling to €32.3bn.