Advisory and Technical Assistance
Advisory services complement the EIB’s lending activity and form an integral part of our ‘lending, blending and advising’ strategy. We make technical and financial expertise available to our clients to develop and implement investment projects and programmes, and to improve institutional and regulatory frameworks. When complementing EIB loans, advisory services strengthen the economic and technical foundations of an investment and catalyse funding from other sources.
In delivering advisory services, we rely on the unique expertise developed by our staff, both inside and outside the EU, in key areas such as infrastructure financing, climate change mitigation and adaptation, urban development and SME support.
Technical assistance enhances sustainable impact
Project-related technical assistance contributes to improving the quality of lending operations throughout the project cycle and enhancing their development impact. In many cases this applies to our non-European projects. Technical assistance operations mainly focus on:
- Financial sector operations, notably microfinance support and SME lending
- Infrastructure projects, notably in the water and wastewater, ICT, transport and energy sectors
- EIB activity in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) frequently takes the form of technical assistance. Our operations in ACP countries are carried out under the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement (the so-called Cotonou Agreement) covering the years 2000 to 2020. The central objectives of the agreement are reducing poverty, supporting sustainable development, and fostering the progressive integration of the ACP countries into the world economy.
Advisory services provide specific expertise
Besides our in-house financial, technical, and environmental expertise, advisory services strengthen the economic and technical foundations of investment and catalyse funding from other sources. EIB advisory is structured in a variety of specific departments and divisions. The main advisory department is JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Region), a technical assistance initiative managed by the EIB and co-sponsored by the EC and EBRD. JASPERS aims at improving the sustainability and the quality of investment supported by EU Structural and Investment Funds and also the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in the EU-28 by providing independent advice and capacity building support to public authorities, as well as independent quality review of projects before their submission to the EU.
InnovFin Advisory (IFA) guides its clients on how to structure research and innovation projects to improve their access to finance. Many IFA horizontal studies were launched in 2017, notably on innovative road transport, life sciences financing, the digital economy and space technologies. IFA is also actively involved in the EC Circular Economy Finance Support Platform launched in 2017.
The EIB also manages ELENA, the agency for ‘European Local ENergy Assistance’, through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. ELENA may cover up to 90% of the costs of technical support for a renewable energy investment programme. The Bank also provides substantial technical assistance to energy efficiency and urban transport projects and programmes via Financial Instrument Advisory, which notably includes fi-compass and provides public and private sector stakeholders with expertise and support in the identification, establishment and implementation of financial instruments and investment funds, in both generic and bespoke forms. EPEC is a membership-based PPP expertise network with a remit to help the public sector deliver sound and sustainable PPPs all over the EU.
The European Investment Advisory Hub is a partnership between the EIB and the European Commission and part of the second pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. The Hub offers a single point of entry to a comprehensive offer of advisory and technical assistance (delivered either by the EIB Group, the EC, national promotional institutions or Managing Authorities), aimed at providing targeted support for the identification, preparation and development of sustainable investment projects across the EU.
Monitoring ensures project objectives are delivered
As part of our approach to sustainability in taking investment decisions, the EIB pays particular attention to the responsible planning, design, implementation and operation of projects. This includes the continuous monitoring of approved projects.
The Bank monitors the projects financed to ensure that they are carried out in accordance with its policies and procedures during the implementation phase. At project completion, the Bank assesses the investment and whether the objectives have been reached or whether some more work has to be done to fulfil its conditions.
The EIB monitors projects financially from the signature of the loan contract, through project implementation and the operational phase, until the loan is paid back. It monitors the servicing of the loan, checks that the funds are being used in line with the project description, objectives and projections, and receives information about developments relating to the promoter and its partners.