European Parliament praises EIB’s support for Ukraine and contribution to COVID-19 relief
7 July 2022
After a debate with EIB President Werner Hoyer on 6 July 2022, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions on the EIB Group’s annual activities.
MEPs praised the Bank’s immediate support for Ukraine and its role in supporting SMEs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Hoyer welcomed the reports from the European Parliament and thanked the rapporteurs, Corina Creţu and David Cormand, for their excellent work and cooperation. In discussing the EIB’s quick and decisive reaction in support of Ukraine, President Hoyer highlighted how “none of us imagined that Russia was planning a brutal war and we could not have imagined that hunger would be used as a weapon.” President Hoyer reiterated that “Europeans had to react swiftly to support our Ukrainian partners and friends, and to show that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them”, before adding that the EIB Group had been a very efficient instrument throughout the pandemic, increasing its financing volumes to some 93 billion euros - an absolute record for EIB Group financing.
President Hoyer thanked the Parliament for a very positive report, saying it was testament to the EIB Group doing its part in helping the EU achieve its strategic autonomy and economic resilience goals. He added, “We can turn challenges into opportunities if we make the right choices. At the EU Bank, we are currently developing an ambitious response to help reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast-forward the green transition. At this point in time, I am convinced we can and must do both!”
EIB Global, support during the pandemic and innovation
The Report on the EIB Financial Activities highlights the EIB’s fundamental role as the EU bank in financing projects inside and outside the European Union, and the EIB’s crucial support for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the European Parliament hailed the creation of the European Guarantee Fund and the support it mobilised for hard-hit SMEs in Europe. EIB Global, the EIB’s development arm established in January 2022, also gathered praise from MEPs and European Commission Vice-President Jourová as a key partner in promoting EU policy outside Europe. The Bank was also commended for its efforts in financing innovation and for being a forerunner in prioritising climate action.
Recommendations from MEPs on gender balance and control of financial activities
The reports touched upon areas for improvement for the Bank in terms of the gender balance of its management, as well as transparency and the relation between the Bank and the European Court of Auditors. During the debate MEPs said they would like to see more EIB Group support for cohesion areas, with particular attention for youth unemployment; energy efficiency and independence; and energy poverty reduction. Several MEPs also asked the EIB to not re-introduce fossil fuel projects.
An EIB delegation led by President Werner Hoyer, with the participation of Vice-Presidents Ambroise Fayolle and Thomas Östros, visited Washington DC on 25 and 26 August for high-level meetings with the US Administration, multilateral development institutions and leading think tanks on climate action and the forthcoming COP27 (6-18 November in Egypt), energy transition, Ukraine’s reconstruction and the global economic outlook as a result of the war in Ukraine.
We have now witnessed 100 days of fearless resistance by the Ukrainian people in the face of unprovoked Russian military aggression. Every Ukrainian behaves like a true hero. Our support must be unwavering. We must stand by their side throughout and after the war, when Ukraine looks towards recovery and rebuilding its future. I’m very proud that just weeks after this invasion we managed to rapidly deploy €668 million to the Ukrainian government for urgent liquidity needs, with a further €1.5 billion of investment to come for rebuilding what the Russian army destroys. A €2.5 million humanitarian aid package coordinated by the EIB Institute is directly helping people affected by the war. And those who have been driven from their homes by the violence will be supported with a €4 billion support package to help them and the local communities of EU Member States who have provided them homes and shelter. As the EU bank, we remain unshakable - we have stood and will stand with Ukraine, committed to the nation’s welfare and reconstruction.
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, today chaired a meeting of the heads of 12 multilateral development banks to discuss MDBs’ role in tackling current global crises, from the fallout of the war in Ukraine to recovery from the pandemic and climate change. EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle also attended the meeting.