EU Eastern Neighbours
The EIB supports the EU Neighbourhood Policy in the Eastern Partner Countries by financing projects of significant EU interest.
The current EUR 3.7bn mandate runs from 2007 to 2013 and covers Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and subject to future Council and European Parliament Agreement, Belarus. This mandate is for projects of significant interest to the EU in transport, energy, telecommunications and environmental infrastructure, and as of mid-2009 has been extended to cover also loans for SMEs via banks in Eastern Partnership countries 1 within the framework of the Joint IFI Action Plan. With a view to supporting EU external action without affecting the EIB's credit standing, the EIB is offered a Community budgetary guarantee for operations carried out outside the Community, including the Eastern Partner Countries.
To complement the Mandate, the EIB set up in December 2009 the Eastern Partners Facility (EPF), a EUR 1.5 bn facility under which financing will be extended at the EIB's own risk (i.e. without EC guarantee). The EPF enables the Bank to support EU Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Eastern Neighbour countries, with a EUR 500 million ceiling for projects in Russia. The bulk of the facility will be used to support investment-grade projects/structures; financing up to EUR 150 m can be structured pursuant to the Structured Finance Facility, which provides for a higher risk bearing capacity. The EPF enables the Bank to play a pro-active role in supporting the resumption of FDI in Eastern Europe and thereby contribute to the modernisation of these economies and to their integration with the EU economy.
1 Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and subject to Council and EP decision, Belarus.