EIB’s emerging response to the Urban Agenda – meeting in Strasbourg on September 15th
ing in Strasbourg on september 15thLast meeting of the URBAN Intergroup at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday September 15th, was devoted to the presentation of the European Investment Bank’s emerging response to the Urban Agenda.
At the beginning of the meeting, Gerry Muscat, Head of Urban Development Division, stressed that the European Investment Bank (EIB) actively participated in the consultations of the Pact of Amsterdam. He explained that the Urban Agenda constitutes “a set of principles” which guides the EIB lending for cities, “a framework” to help the EIB providing better urban financing and advice and “a stimulus” to focus the EIB attention on urban issues.
Moreover, it has been recalled that in the Pact of Amsterdam, Ministers invite the EIB to help develop better funding approaches in the urban context, contribute to the partnerships (especially better funding and better knowledge), and to reflect – where relevant – the outcomes of the Urban Agenda for the EU in its urban lending, grant-loan blending and advisory services.
Torsten Brand, EIB Senior Policy Adviser, presented in detail the EIB financing tools for the urban sector such as investment loans, framework loans direct to cities, framework loans via an intermediary and equity funds. Moreover, he presented some examples of the EIB projects related to the first four Urban Agenda Partnerships (affordable housing, inclusion of migrants and refugees, urban poverty and air quality). More good examples can be found in the recently published EIB-CoR EU Urban Agenda toolbox.
At the end of the meeting, the discussion focused on the mobilisation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) for urban projects. Ginko Fund is considered as the first urban EFSI project. The aim of this eight-year fund is to invest in contaminated former industrial sites in Belgium and France, depollute them and sell the upgraded property for further real estate development.