European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB is the European Union's bank. It is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. It is also the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender, providing finance and expertise for sustainable investment projects that contribute to EU policy objectives. Read more about EIB’s products and activities.

How we do it

  • Lending: Lending is our main activity with the vast majority of our financing being made through loans, but we also offer guarantees, microfinance, equity investment, etc.  We use our financial strength to borrow at good rates. We pass the cost advantage onto economically viable projects that promote EU policy objectives.
  • Blending: Our support unlocks financing from other sources, particularly from the EU budget. This is blended with loans to form a full financing package. Our smart tools help clients blend our financing with additional sources of investment.
  • Advising: Lack of finance is often only one barrier to investment. We help with administrative and project management capacity to facilitate investment.
    See "Products section" for our full range of products and services. Companies or public authorities can call on our financial and technical expertise through the European Investment Advisory Hub. The Hub works to ensure better knowledge-sharing and to guide you to the right people for your project.

Finance instruments that can make your project happen

The EU bank improves people’s lives by providing finance and expertise for projects supporting innovation, SMEs, infrastructure and climate action.

Our extensive lending, blending and advisory capacities are at the service of all EU citizens, as well as citizens in many non-EU countries.


Lending is by far our principal activity. We lend to clients of all sizes to support sustainable growth and job creation. Our support is often central to attracting other investors.

Below is a list of our main lending activities:

  • Project loans: for large developments in excess of EUR 25m
  • Intermediated loans: made via local banks
  • Venture capital: helping fund managers invest in high-tech and growth SMEs
  • Venture debt: Finance for small, high-risk and innovative projects
  • Microfinance: has benefited from our long term commitment
  • Equity & fund investment: to catalyse further activity


As well as lending, we have a variety of sophisticated tools to help clients blend our financing with additional sources of investment such as:

  • Structured finance: provides additional support to priority projects
  • Guarantees: helping projects attract new investors
  • Project bonds: unlocking infrastructure funding
  • InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators: Whether you are a small and medium sized enterprise (SME), a large company or a research institution, InnovFin can provide the right financing instrument for your research and innovation project.
  • Trust Funds:  partnering with donors
  • Flexible SME funding (JEREMIE): Finance and financial engineering for SMEs
  • European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Financial Instruments: Financial Instruments (FIs) transform EU resources under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) into financial products such as loans, guarantees, equity and other risk-bearing mechanisms. These are then used to support economically viable projects which promote EU policy objectives. FIs aim to put EU funds to good and efficient use, ensuring that grants are complemented by other financial products so that EU funding can be used time and time again in a revolving fashion.
  • Urban development technical assistance (JESSICA): Integrated, sustainable urban-renewal projects are supported through JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas). A range of sophisticated financial tools are used including equity investments, loans and guarantees, offering new opportunities for the use of EU Structural Funds.
  • The Mutual Reliance Initiative (MRI): Effective partnering for growth & development
  • Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE): Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) instrument is a joint agreement between the EIB and the European Commission which aims to address the limited access to adequate and affordable commercial financing for energy efficiency investments. The instrument targets projects which support the implementation of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans or other energy efficiency programmes of EU Member States.
  • Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF): The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) is a financial instrument that combines EIB financing and European Commission funding under the LIFE Programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.
  • Guarantee Fund for Greek SMEs
  • Risk Capital Facility for the Southern Neighbourhood: The Risk Capital Facility for the Southern Neighbourhood will provide access to equity and debt financing to SMEs in the Mediterranean region in order to support private sector development, inclusive growth and private sector job creation.
  • Transport Infrastructure: cash-flow guarantees (LGTT)
  • Italian Risk Sharing Initiative for RDI


Advisory services complement the EIB’s lending activity and form an integral part of our Lending, Blending and Advising strategy.

We make technical and financial expertise available to our clients to develop and implement investment projects and programmes, and to improve institutional and regulatory frameworks. When complementing EIB loans, advisory services strengthen the economic and technical foundations of an investment and catalyse funding from other sources.

In delivering advisory services, we rely on the unique expertise developed by our staff, both inside and outside the EU, in key areas such as infrastructure financing, climate change mitigation and adaptation, urban development and SME support.

In addition to the individual advisory services listed below, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank have established the European Investment Advisory Hub as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. The Hub aims to strengthen Europe's investment and business environment and offers a single access point to a 360 degree offer of advisory and technical assistance services.

  • InnovFin advisory: InnovFin Advisory guides its clients on how to structure their R&I projects in order to improve their access to finance. The service helps them to capitalise on their strong points and adjust elements such as their business model, governance, funding sources and financing structure to improve their access to finance. In the long run, this increases their chances of being implemented.
  • Support to public-private partnerships (EPEC): The European PPP Expertise Centre's mission is to support the public sector across Europe in delivering better public-private partnerships (PPPs). More information, along with market data, publications and tools can be found on the EPEC website.
  • JASPERS - Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions: JASPERS is a technical assistance partnership between the EIB and the European Commission. JASPERS is an important instrument of the EU Cohesion Policy.
  • Sustainable energy: maximising investment (ELENA): ELENA is a joint initiative by the EIB and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. ELENA provides grants for technical assistance focused on the implementation of energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy and urban transport projects and programmes.
  • European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Financial Instruments: Financial Instruments (FIs) transform EU resources under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) into financial products such as loans, guarantees, equity and other risk-bearing mechanisms. These are then used to support economically viable projects which promote EU policy objectives. FIs aim to put EU funds to good and efficient use, ensuring that grants are complemented by other financial products so that EU funding can be used time and time again in a revolving fashion.
  • FELICITY: Sustainable solutions for cities: Climate change and the unprecedented growth of cities, especially in emerging economies and developing countries, require increased investments in sustainable infrastructure projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To address these challenges FELICITY provides advisory services and capacity building tailored to the needs of municipalities and financial intermediaries in Brazil, China and Mexico.
  • MPSF - Municipal Project Support Facility: With the Municipal Project Support Facility (MPSF), the EIB targets cities in the region which require increased investments in projects that reduce high levels of local pollution with impacts on air, water and waste.

Our priorities

We support projects that make a significant contribution to growth and employment in Europe. Our activities focus on four priority areas:

  • Innovation and skills: promoting skills and innovation at every level
  • Access to finance for smaller businesses: the creators of 80% of new jobs
  • Infrastructure: connecting Europe’s citizens, internal markets and economies
  • Climate and environment: supporting the transition to a low-carbon, environmental friendly and climate-resilient economy

We raise the money we lend on the international capital markets through bond issues. Our excellent rating allows us to borrow at good rates. We’re not in this to make a big profit. So we pass these good rates onto our clients.

Our multiplier effect

We generally finance one-third of each project, but it can be as much as 50%. This long-term, supportive financing encourages private and public sector investors to put in their funds.

What makes the EIB different?

All the projects we finance must be bankable. But they also must comply with strict technical, environmental and social standards. Our corps of 300 engineers and economists screens every project, before, during and after we lend. We’re accountable to EU citizens.

Our expertise

We have more than 50 years' experience and expertise in project financing. Headquartered in Luxembourg with 2 900 staff, we have a network of local and regional offices in Europe and beyond.

The EIB Group

The EIB Group consists of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, which specialises in SME finance. The EIB is the majority EIF shareholder, with the remaining equity held by the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and other European private and public bodies.

Responding to today’s challenges

In response to the financial crisis, the Bank embarked on a path of change and modernisation. And it has produced real results.

In 2012 our shareholders, the EU Member States, agreed to a capital increase for the EIB Group. In return they asked us to lend an additional EUR 60 billion. This additional lending has allowed us to increase our support to the economic recovery in Europe and have considerable impact on the lives of citizens.

That is one of the reasons why we started with confidence to deliver on the Investment Plan for Europe in 2015. The plan aims to revive investment in strategic projects around Europe. Part of this initiative is the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), launched jointly by the EIB Group and the European Commission. EFSI provides funding for economically viable projects where it adds value, including projects with a higher risk profile than ordinary EIB activities.

Economic Resilience Initiative But our response to today’s priorities goes beyond the EU borders. Following a call from the European Council, the EIB started developing in 2016 the Economic Resilience Initiative to increase financing in the Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans, also in the context of the migration challenge.

This initiative will enable us to respond to future crises more quickly and efficiently.


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