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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the world's largest multilateral development bank, and acts as the financial arm of the European Union. In 2012, the EIB approved loans totaling €52 billion and its subscribed capital reached €242 billion. In comparison, the EBRD loan activities from 1991-2011 totaled € 71.1 billion, and the World Bank provided loans worth €30.1 billion in 2011. The Structural Funds programs offer non-reimbursable grants for projects, and loans from the EIB represent another financing possibility for the private sector.
The EIB supports the same "key European policy objectives" as those supported by the Structural Funds. The EIB finances projects from both the public and the private sectors. The Bank offers preferential rates and longer payback periods than most commercial banks can offer. As a general rule, projects should contribute to growth in the less developed regions, with an emphasis on innovation and job creation. The EIB is well known for its expertise in project identification and appraisal by teams of engineers, economists and financial analysts. EIB staff prepares project monitoring, completion and post-completion evaluation reports. The EIB is ready to finance projects to be developed in Europe and elsewhere: the EIB has stated its willingness to examine large projects sponsored by U.S.-based firms.
A promoter seeking to obtain a loan can contact the Bank by telephone or in writing and submit his project, which will be vetted for eligibility, i.e. for compliance with the EU objectives that the EIB serves to promote. Within the EU, projects considered for EIB financing must contribute toward one or more of the following key objectives:
Projects should have a total investment cost that exceeds €25 million. For smaller sized projects, the EIB has agreements with commercial banks in all EU Member States. Outside the EU territory, the EIB supports the EU's cooperation and development aid policies in over 120 countries in EU candidate countries, Africa, the Caribbean & the Pacific, the Mediterranean area, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
EIB Guide to Procurement
In its Guide to Procurement, the EIB outlines the policies it applies to projects that are financed by the bank, and those that are financed under loans guaranteed by the bank. Generally, the bank makes its loans conditional on international invitations to tender, through open international competition. Different rules apply to loans within and outside the EU. The guide also defines the different types of procedures and other specific procurement terms in its annexes.