The European Guarantee Fund (EGF), part of the €540 billion EU recovery package agreed in 2020, has approved funding amounting to almost half its target for 2021. After clearance under the EU state aid notification process in December 2020, the initiative has now approved €11.7 billion in support of European businesses struggling with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is almost half the fund’s target for 2021. The fund mobilises additional financing, and initiatives financed so far are expected to generate €93.9 billion in funding for the EU economy. With €2.1 billion in financing also signed at the end of April, EGF funding is already reaching businesses across the European Union.
The shareholders of the European Investment Fund (EIF) have approved a 64% increase in its total authorised capital from €4.5 billion to approximately €7.4 billion. With this decision, the General Meeting of shareholders – the European Investment Bank, the European Union represented by the European Commission and 38 public and private financial institutions – gave a strong signal to further extend EIF activity to support European businesses, in particular SMEs, through a series of innovative financial products.
In the year of the worst global health and economic crisis for generations, the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group rapidly redirected its business to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences on all fronts. It increased financing volumes to €76.8 billion, exceeding its own targets. A third of these funds, €25.5 billion, went into the immediate crisis response that started with a first package in March. Most of it went to small and medium-sized businesses to avoid insolvencies and job losses, especially in countries that did not have the budgetary means for massive national rescue packages.