The European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group), comprising the European Investment Bank (EIB) and its subsidiary, the European Investment Fund (EIF), provided 631 million euros in loans, guarantees and equity in Slovakia in 2018. This represents an increase of 93 per cent compared to EIB support in Slovakia in 2017.
The EIF committed 14.4 million euros in three operations, aimed at raising 71 million euros on the market in overall investments. The EIB Group’s activity had a positive impact on jobs, with some 1,400 businesses particularly benefiting from EIF operations in Slovakia in 2018. These operations supported approximately 6,000 jobs.
Part of the EIB Group financing was made possible under the Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan, as it is commonly known. Under the plan, launched in 2015, the EIB grants loans guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and also provides advice via the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH). So far, the EIB Group has approved projects benefiting from EFSI guarantees totalling 537 million euros for Slovakia, triggering potential investments of 1.19 billion euros.
EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák commented: “2018 was a successful year for EIB operations in Slovakia. The EIB Group almost doubled its volume of loan signatures in the country compared to the previous year, reaching 631 million. We financed the projects of some 1,700 smaller businesses and supported around 239,000 jobs. In addition to lending operations, we provided advisory services in various forms (such as project preparation) totalling seven billion in terms of completed project value, providing further know-how under the Investment Plan for Europe and creating investment platforms to facilitate innovative investments.”
In 2018, the EU bank provided 320 million euros to the Slovak government for transport infrastructure. The EIB funds co-finance priority projects supported by EU funds from 2014 to 2020. This loan is the second tranche of a 670 million-euro EIB lending package, following a 350 million-euro loan granted in 2015.
The EIB has approved 32 individual investment projects, such as the modernisation of the Púchov – Žilina railway line, enabling it to handle speeds of 160 kph. Projects also include the construction of related infrastructure, integrated terminals and Park&Ride facilities. EIB funds will finance the modernisation of public transport in Bratislava, trams in Košice and trolleybuses in Prešov and Žilina. Other projects involve the reconstruction of national roads, bridges and bypasses in Brezno and Bardejov.