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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU Bank. Its shareholders are the 27 Member States of the Union, which have jointly subscribed its capital. The EIB's Board of Governors is composed of the Finance Ministers of these States. The EIB's role is to provide long-term finance in support of investment projects.

    Inside the European Union the EIB supports the EU's policy objectives in the following areas:
  • small and medium-sized enterprises: stimulating investment by small businesses.
  • cohesion and convergence: addressing economic and social imbalances in disadvantaged regions.
  • the fight against climate change: mitigating and adapting to the effects of global warming.
  • environmental protection and sustainable communities: investing in a cleaner natural and urban environment.
  • sustainable, competitive and secure energy: producing alternative energy and reducing dependence on imports.
  • the knowledge economy: promoting an economy that stimulates knowledge and creativity through investment in information and communication technologies, and human and social capital.
  • trans-European networks: constructing cross-border networks in transport, energy and communications.

In 2011, some 90% of the total EIB financing of EUR 61 billion went to projects in the EU.

Outside the EU, the EIB is active in over 150 countries (the pre-accession countries of South-East Europe, the Mediterranean partner countries, the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, Asia and Latin America, Central Asia, Russia and other neighbours to the East), working to implement the financial pillar of EU external cooperation and development policies (private sector development, infrastructure development, security of energy supply, and environmental sustainability).

The EIB, the largest international non-sovereign lender and borrower, raises the resources it needs to finance its lending activities by borrowing on the capital markets, mainly through public bond issues. Its AAA credit rating enables it to obtain the best terms on the market. As a not-for-profit institution, the EIB passes on this advantage in the terms it offers to the beneficiaries of its loans in both the public and private sectors.

The EIB works closely with the other EU institutions, especially the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission. The European Investment Fund is a subsidiary of the EIB.

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