Meeting with the Vice President of the European Investment Bank
In terms of the economy and politics, Georgia is the most stable country in the region, - Vice President of the European Investment Bank (The EIB) Laszlo Baranyay noted during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili. According to Laszlo Baranyay the EIB intend to double its financial exposure in Georgia throughout the next few years.
Conversation during the meeting held at the Administration of the Government of Georgia touched upon the infrastructural projects funded by the EIB and prospects of cooperation.
The head of the Government presented the Government's four-point reform plan. Particular attention was paid to the ways of implementation of the infrastructural projects and the importance of the EIB support in this area was highlighted.
According to Laszlo Baranyay, the EIB actively support the reform course of the Government and plans on expanding cooperation.
"We discussed the ongoing issues with the Prime Minister. I believe that Georgian people are well aware of the active cooperation between the EIB and Georgia as well as with EIB's partnership with its economic representatives in both public and private sectors. As of today the amount of our investments is over 700 million EU, and we plan to increase this exposure in the coming 2-3 years. Our activities cover following economic and infrastructural areas, including support of SMEs and cooperation with several Georgian banks. Of course, we intend to intensify our activities, since your country has respective potential and relevant conditions. We discussed various methods of intensification of the cooperation, including in the area of education and social infrastructure. Our cooperation is very good and I hope that it will deepen in the near future," - stated the Vice President of the EIB after the meeting.
‘Better and Safer Roads for Georgia’: Georgia launches nationwide road safety campaign with EU support
With the support of the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Georgian authorities have launched a joint campaign – ‘Better and safer roads for Georgia’ – to raise awareness on road safety issues.
The campaign focuses on several concrete issues to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. It will show real stories of people affected by road accidents. Outdoor banners with road safety messages will be spread throughout five cities of Georgia – Tbilisi, Khashuri, Kutaisi, Zestafoni, and Batumi. This will be complemented by outreach through television, online media and social media. The goal is to reach as many drivers as possible and help them become aware of safety risks on the roads.
According to the EU Delegation to Georgia, car accidents are one of the main causes of fatalities and injuries in the country. Failure to maintain one lane, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are all significant causes of traffic accidents in Georgia. Over the past two years, 15,222 people have been injured in car accidents and 879 people have been killed, including 22 children.
“Systematically preventing deaths and serious injuries linked to road crashes is a priority of the EIB, the EU’s bank,” said Maciej Czura, the Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus. “Improving road infrastructure safety in Georgia has been one of our key priorities since 2007 when the bank began operating in the country. In order to achieve that, the EIB is supporting the Georgian East-West highway project with €1 billion financing guaranteed by the European Union, supplemented with up to €40 million of EU grants to Georgia.”
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European Investment Bank approves €1.59 billion of EU financial assistance for Ukraine
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU bank, is providing €1.59 billion, supported by guarantees from the EU budget, to help Ukraine repair the most essential damaged infrastructure and resume critically important projects addressing the urgent needs of Ukrainian people.
This is the second package of support for Ukraine under the EIB Ukraine solidarity urgent response developed in close cooperation with the European Commission. It follows an emergency support package of €668 million fully disbursed within a month of the war’s beginning. Like the first one, this new financing is offered at favourable terms including long tenors.
The package was agreed by the EIB Board of Directors yesterday; €1.05 billion will be made available immediately.
The financing will help essential services to resume and get the most critical infrastructure up and running again, strengthen the country’s resilience and maintain economic stability. It consists of two blocks of intervention:
- Immediate financial assistance totalling €1.05 billion. This will consist of upfront disbursements under eight existing finance contracts. It will help the Ukrainian government to cover priority short-term financing needs, provide support to strategic state-owned companies, ensure urgent repairs of damaged infrastructure, resume the provision of disrupted municipal services, and support urgent energy and energy efficiency measures in preparation for the cold season.
- Resuming implementation of EIB-financed projects in Ukraine totalling €540 million where possible, excluding areas of active hostilities and territories not controlled by the Ukrainian government. The selected projects will cover energy, energy efficiency, roads, transport, education and infrastructure, as well as reconstruction and recovery programmes. The exact timing of these disbursements will depend on the state of advancement of underlying projects.
Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “This EIB support will keep strategic public sector companies financially viable and able to carry out urgent repairs of critical infrastructure, resume the provision of essential services and address other immediate needs of the Ukrainian people, including those displaced by Russia’s war. The European Commission will keep working with EU Member States and our international partners to support Ukraine on every level — for as long as it takes.”
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EIB approves €4 billion credit line to support Ukrainian refugees in all EU countries
On 18 May, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a €4 billion credit line (or programme loan) to help national authorities, cities, regions and local communities in all EU Member States address urgent investment needs and help welcome and integrate people fleeing the war against Ukraine.
The EIB pledged these funds back in April, at ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’, a global pledging campaign for Ukraine and its refugees, but board approval was required. The EU and Canada then raised €9.1, including €4 billion from the EIB and €1 billion from the European Commission.
The EIB credit line will help to provide this support by making financing available to the development of key infrastructure and services for refugees and host communities, such as housing, schools, hospitals and access to jobs. The financing can also cover eligible operational expenditures related to the supply of equipment, facilities and services for the integration of war refugees.
This financial package will be complemented by EIB advisory support thanks to the EMBRACE Advisory Platform, a new initiative by the EIB and the European Commission.
“All EU Member States can make use of this funding opportunity and bespoke advisory for projects that help refugees start a new life in their host countries,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer. “This initiative comes together with the €668 million support we gave in early March to the Government of Ukraine to cover their urgent liquidity needs; both are part of our Solidarity Package for Ukraine, which we set up together with the European Commission.”
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€2 billion urgent financial support for Ukrainian refugees in Europe
National promotional banks and institutions from EU member states and the European Investment Bank on 6 May launched the €2 billion ‘Quick Response — Care for Ukrainian Refugees in Europe’ initiative. The joint initiative aims to provide immediate relief this year for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and to promote the integration of Ukrainian refugees in EU Member States.
The initiative was launched in Paris by five European national promotional banks and institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI). The participants in the initiative will contribute directly or indirectly through their respective general programmes along with regional and local communities to provide housing for refugees and support their integration into local communities. The initiative could also finance education, healthcare and infrastructure needs and has a target of at least €2 billion of financial support this year.
The urgent support initiative in Europe is a first step as the group considers further measures to help Member States deal with the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The five national promotional institutions involved are:
- Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK — Poland)
- Groupe Caisse des Dépôts (CDC — France)
- Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP — Italy)
- Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO — Spain)
- Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW — Germany)
ELTI is the European association of public national promotional banks and financial institutions gathering 31 members all over Europe.
The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
The pan-European support initiative for Ukraine will provide loans, grants, equity investment and guarantees for eligible projects and develop innovative financing structures for public and private infrastructure, municipalities as well as private enterprises of different sizes.
Source: EU NEIGHBOURS east
Team Europe: EU and EIB invest in fast internet connection for rural Georgia
The European Investment Bank, the Bank of the European Union, will invest up to EUR 34 million in the expanding a high-speed internet network bringing fast and reliable internet services to some 500,000 Georgians living in 1000 rural and remote settlements in Georgia. The investment from the EU bank will finance the installation of 5000 km of fiber optics telecommunications network and provide open-access infrastructure for Georgian telecom operators to provide their fast-internet services. The EU has provided a guarantee through the External Lending Mandate.
This project supports improved digital connectivity as one of the five flagship initiatives for Georgia under the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership
This new EIB operation is a part of broader Team Europe efforts to support Georgia in digitalising, accelerating green and sustainable social and economic growth, and increasing nationwide resilience to natural disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, said: “Investing in the digital transition in Georgia is key to stimulate jobs and growth and bring about prosperity. Through the EU Economic and Investment Plan, we have already started to deliver real benefits on the ground. This flagship programme will assist in bringing new opportunities and reduce digital inequalities between rural and urban areas by developing high-speed broadband infrastructure for around 1,000 rural settlements. I consider this an important contribution to Georgia’s modernisation and economic development and recovery, while promoting digital inclusion in line with its national broadband strategy.”
Teresa Czerwinska, Vice President of the EIB, who is in charge of operations in Georgia, said: “Our investment in fast and reliable internet services for rural Georgia is more than another Team Europe investment to improve quality of life and doing business for Georgians. It supports digitalisation, the key to the long-term competitiveness of the Georgian economy and its sustainable and green development. Finally, this investment reinforces the recovery of the national economy from the pandemic. Together with Team Europe, EU4Digital the World Bank and the Government of Georgia, we are building modern infrastructure, a cornerstone for a modern and thriving Georgia. The EIB is proud to have contributed yet again towards this goal the whole of Team Europe shares with Georgia.”
Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia said: “One of the main priorities of the Government of Georgia is the development of the digital economy. The improvement of broadband infrastructure is of the utmost importance in this regard. With the support of our international partner institutions such as the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank, we are aiming for this goal. This aspiration is demonstrated by the “Rural Fibre Network Georgia” project financed by the European Investment Bank. As one of the flagship projects within the Eastern Partnership priorities, it will promote digital development of rural settlements, that will ultimately be reflected in their economic growth. In addition it is in full compliance with Georgia’s National Broadband Strategy and Government’s programme for 2021-2024. I would like to express my gratitude to the European Union for its continued support and willingness to provide assistance in supporting and advancing the priority sectors of Georgia“.
Press Release of EU