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 in transport, energy, telecommunications and environmental infrastructure.
As of mid-2009 it has been extended to loans for SMEs via banks in Eastern Partnership countries 1 within the framework of the Joint IFI Action Plan. To support EU external action without affecting the EIB's credit standing, the EIB benefis from an EU budgetary guarantee for operations carried out outside the EU, including the Eastern Partner Countries.
The EIB also set up in December 2009 the Eastern Partners Facility (EPF), a EUR 1.5bn 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 500m ceiling for projects in Russia.
The bulk of the facility will be used to support investment-grade projects/structures. Financing up to EUR 150m 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 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.