The European Investment Bank (Banque Europeenne D'Investissement) is a leading financial institution in the European Union (EU). Its major shareholders are the member nations of the EU themselves, which creates a very high credit rating for the bank. As a result, it can borrow and lend on the international market at very favorable rates. The bank provides capital funds for projects within the EU and in nations that partner with the EU.
In 1957, the Treaty of Rome met to establish economic relationships within the European nations, and the European Investment Bank was founded with the intention of providing financial assistance for development projects, technological advancements, transportation, environmental protections, and generally furthering the cause of European nations. In 1992, when the European Union was established under the Maastricht Treaty, the bank prepared to take a larger role in the European community. Its primary goals include bringing financial health to all member nations while promoting economic and social cohesion.
The non-profit European Investment Bank works to promote these goals in a number of ways. Through the European Investment Fund, it makes loans available to small businesses, along with intermediate businesses that have a desire to expand. Capital loans are also offered by the bank to transit companies and other organizations working to improve transit and communication between EU member nations.
Projects financed by the European Investment Bank include upgrades of energy systems, overhauls of ports, assistance with the construction of light and high speed rail, environmental remediation programs, extensive technological investments, and research and development in a wide range of fields. The bank also promotes training and education of European men and women in a variety of specializations. To this end, it has provided funds to upgrade schools, improved educational offerings at all levels of the education system, and helped to create training centers for professionals who may be in short supply, such as information technology specialists.
Outside the EU, the European Investment Bank works with partner nations of the EU to promote financial well being and technological advancement. In some instances, it partners with the World Bank to offer co-financing, especially in the Middle East and Northern Africa. This cooperation has resulted in more financial solvency for nations assisted by both organizations, as well as a growing understanding and coordination between the World Bank and the EU.