On 10 May 2022, representations of the European Commission, together with President Hoyer, signed an agreement to further investments worldwide, in the framework of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Find out more about the event.

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Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me thank my Commission colleagues for the close cooperation over the last two years, which has brought us here today to celebrate the formal signing of the Guarantee Agreement for the EU’s sovereign lending in partner countries.

For decades, the European Investment Bank has worked closely with the Commission to ensure that all our external lending supports EU policies and priorities, and imparts EU values and standards to our global partners.

However, the Bank’s activity outside the EU has sometimes been perceived as something separate from other EU support:

…in support of EU foreign policy, yes;

…guaranteed by the EU budget, often [most notably under our previous External Lending Mandates];

…but not necessarily seen, or more importantly, fully utilised, as an integral tool for EU foreign policy.

This is why the agreement signed today, and the policy first approach adopted under the European Fund for Sustainable Development [EFSD+], is so relevant.

EFSD+ will serve as a tool, not only or guaranteeing EIB loans allowing the EU to finance essential public sector investments where otherwise it would be difficult, but also to fully embed EIB’s lending in the EU’s wider foreign policy efforts.

This will enhance the Union’s overall ability to provide a substantive “EU offer” to our partners and support a green, digital, just and resilient global recovery in the form of both grants and loans, through both finance and expertise.

The establishment of EIB Global – our new arm for international partnerships and development finance – aims to further enhance  impact and visibility of EU investments worldwide. We are placing more EIB bankers, engineers and economists on the ground, working within EU delegations, and are working hand in hand with the European Commission in the delivery of key EU global and regional policies.

Policies such as Global Gateway, where EIB is well placed to be a key partner, with expertise in sectors such as energy, transport, digitalisation and health.

It’s needless to say that this is more important than ever, in the current geopolitical context. We stand ready to help Ukraine rebuild after the war, as it moves towards EU membership, and to invest in other countries of the Neighbourhood and Enlargement regions through the EU’s Economic Investment Plans. In Africa, we are committed to investing in support of the EU-Africa Partnership. And, as the EU’s climate bank we will continue to work in regions across the globe in the fight against climate change. 

The global challenges we face are immense, and require unprecedented levels of investment across the world.

This was true before the global pandemic and becomes ever more the case as the war rages on in Ukraine. EIB Global has embraced Team Europe – we are involved in the majority of Initiatives so far – and will continue to cooperate closely with our partner IFIs, including through EFSD+, and to catalyse much needed private sector investment.

With today’s signature, the EU now has an essential tool in place to help our partner countries address the challenges they face, and to establish stronger partnerships. 


Let’s work together and ensure we use it well.