The COVID-19 outbreak upended normal life and forced us to rethink the way we went about our day-to-day activities. The inability to travel and meet with colleagues, contractors and clients slowed down activity across the board. There were some silver linings: communities came together, we developed cutting-edge technologies and digital solutions, and made great strides in healthcare and vaccines.
Rebuilding to come back stronger
We offered many advisory solutions that shortened the path to recovery. We also did not stop our work on climate change. Our advisory services have been key to helping clients keep their long-term investment plans on track, laying the foundations for a green and digital recovery.
The European Investment Advisory Hub, funded and managed by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, helps identify, prepare and implement investment projects across Europe. Since its launch in 2015, we have received requests for support, either directly or via our partner networks, from more than 3 300 project promoters. The Advisory Hub works across a breadth of sectors, including climate and environment, innovation, infrastructure and SME access to finance. By working closely with public authorities and partner institutions, we support all phases of the project cycle and facilitate access to finance. With our help, more than 220 projects have qualified for EIB lending, with estimated total project investment costs of close to €50 billion. Around half of these projects were also considered eligible for support from the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
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No pause on climate action
The Advisory Hub plays a key role in building awareness and capacity in the market for green finance. We helped a consortium of German public and private sector stakeholders plan a network of hydrogen refuelling stations, encouraging greater use of cleaner vehicles. In Athens and Thessaloniki, electric buses will be added to the transport network, lowering CO2 emissions and reducing noise. Our advice also helped the Greek local authorities secure EIB financing and funding from the European Union for their projects. Our work increases sustainable finance, supports Europe in meeting the Green Deal’s goals, and helps the EIB follow the Climate Bank Roadmap.
“With a strong commitment to climate action in the crucial decade ahead, advisory services will continue to play a vital role at the Bank. Our advisory work identifies the best path forwards to create a greener future.”
Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President, responsible for advisory activities
We are helping cities and regions build their own advisory teams and boost sustainable investments on the ground. The Advisory Hub is making more funding and technical support available to partners national promotional banks and institutions.
With an increasing number of national promotional banks and institutions advisory programmes now being funded by the Advisory Hub, we will be able to help even more sustainable projects over the remainder of the Hub’s mandate and as we transition towards Invest EU.
Thriving through digitalisation and innovation
Digital technology has become increasingly important as businesses strive to recover from the pandemic. Already greatly hurt by the lockdowns, small and medium businesses often lack the digital tools necessary to get back on track. The Advisory Hub is making it easier for these businesses to take advantage of digital technologies and be better prepared for challenges such as the coronavirus crisis.
“A digital recovery has moved towards the top of the agenda of many countries and businesses. The Hub’s advisory services seek to help Europe’s entrepreneurs overcome barriers to invest in new technologies and reach their maximum potential.”
Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services
Looking to the future
Building upon the success of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the European Commission’s new InvestEU programme will bring together many previously separated financial instruments and make funding for projects simpler and more flexible. The future InvestEU Advisory Hub will also be the entry point for project promoters and intermediaries seeking advice and technical assistance for their initiatives, investment platforms and projects. The new structure, to be led by the European Commission, will offer an integrated package of advisory support, with an increased focus on project-related advice to underpin investment and related financing opportunities.
The EIB will remain the European Commission’s main advisory partner under InvestEU, helping to support the climate, digital and social objectives of the European Union over the next years and building on the experience and success of the European Investment Advisory Hub.