The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed €7bn of financing for projects in the fields of social housing, clean energy, sustainable transport, telecoms, health and education. The plan was approved by the bank’s board of directors, during a meeting in Zagreb ahead of Croatia’s presidency of the EU.
Among the clean energy schemes to be funded were the construction of a 94MW wind farm in northern Poland, renewable energy projects in Cyprus and seven solar power plants in Morocco. As well as specific projects, there was support for research into renewable energy, backing for equity investment in wind, solar and small-scale hydropower schemes across Europe as well as clean energy infrastructure in Africa.
The meeting also approved more than €1.4bn for transport investment. This will includes the upgrading of trams in Amsterdam, metro trains in Barcelona and urban transport in Szczecin, Poland. There will also be investment to expand electric vehicle charging across Italy and support for digital and automated transport research.
The bank will finance the expansion of Finland’s main airport in Helsinki and the construction of Heraklion airport in Crete.
Social housing will receive a €630m boost. This will include the construction of affordable, energy-efficient homes in Germany and Sweden and the rehabilitation of accommodation in France and Poland.
Patients in Austria and the German region of Brandenburg will benefit from investment in primary healthcare centres and hospitals.
The EIB also agreed to allocate funding to the Greek National Centre for Scientific Research and the Polish Science and Research Centre. The Paris headquarters of Unesco will be renovated, and kindergartens, primary, secondary and vocational schools will be built in Montenegro.
Two PPP projects were also listed as beneficiaries. These are the building of the A49 autobahn in central Germany and safety measures on the Via 15 motorway around Arnhem in the Netherlands.
The UK was not included in the investment round owing to the bank’s decision in 2017 to freeze investment in view of the country’s probable departure from the EU (see Further reading).
The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the EU, and is owned by its member states.
Image: Amsterdam is to have help upgrading its tram system (Rob Dammers/CC BY 2.0)