Supporting green growth in the Baltic Sea States

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The European Commission and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) signed an InvestEU guarantee agreement worth up to €114 million; the agreement will unlock NIB financing of up to €480 million for investments in sustainable infrastructure, research, innovation and digitalisation across several Baltic Sea countries. It is expected to, in turn, mobilise public and private investments of around €2 billion in total.  

The EU guarantee under InvestEU can be used by NIB to support projects in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. The first operations under the agreement are expected to be approved over the course of 2023.
The InvestEU program will provide the EU member states with crucial long-term funding to support a sustainable recovery within the EU’s main policy priorities, such as the “green deal” and digital transition.
The guarantee scheme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub, and the InvestEU Portal; thus, for example, the InvestEU Fund will be implemented through financial partners willing to invest in development projects by using the EU general budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. It is expected that the EU budgetary guarantee will both financially support investment projects and reduce risks involved; at the same time it would mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.
The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) is an international financial institution uniting financial resources of eight states around the Baltic Sea: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. The NIB’s activities are aimed at financing projects that improve the productivity and sustainability to benefit prosperous growth, recovery and resilience in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Commission’s opinion
On the occasion of the guarantee agreement, Commissioner for the European economy, Paolo Gentiloni underlined that the InvestEU program functioned as a crucial tool in the EU’s efforts towards green and digital transitions in the states’ economies. The EU and NIB can together successfully channel investment towards green and digital projects, supporting sustainable growth and creating high-quality jobs across the Nordic and Baltic region.
NIB will use this guarantee agreement to mobilise investments in such sectors as clean energy, industrial modernisation and decarbonisation, supply of critical raw materials, sustainable transport, environmental protection, bioeconomy, digital connectivity and sustainable data infrastructure.
Both institutions will also support investments in projects relating to the sustainable blue economy, space, critical infrastructure, health and the development of innovative technologies across a range of sectors.
Besides, the sectors which will be covered by this agreement fall under the InvestEU’s “sustainable infrastructure” and “research, innovation and digitalisation” windows. These investments will help the EU to achieve its broader strategic objectives of securing the green and digital transitions.
Reference to:

InvestEU regulation
InvestEU regulation approved by the EU institutions in March 2021 supports “green growth” in four main states’ development sectors:
= Sustainable infrastructure, including, e.g. transport (with clean and sustainable transport modes, road safety, rail and road infrastructure); energy (in particular renewable energy, energy efficiency and savings, integration of buildings into a connected energy source, improving energy infrastructure interconnection levels, etc.); digital connectivity and access, including in rural areas; inland waterways and waste management in line with the waste management requirements and circular economy; nature and environment infrastructure protection; cultural heritage and tourism.
= Research, innovation and digitalisation; this sector includes, e.g. transfer of technologies and research results to the market, supporting market enablers and cooperation between enterprises; demonstration and deployment of innovative solutions and support to scaling up of innovative companies as well as digitisation of the member states’ industry.
= as to SMEs, investment is directed to: better access to and availability of finance for the corporate sectors; innovative approaches to companies operating in the cultural and creative sectors, as well as for small mid-cap companies; supporting businesses with difficulties of access to finance, such as start-ups, younger and smaller companies, businesses with a perceived higher risk and lacking (sufficient) collateral, etc.
= In social investment and skills, the following activities are involved: microfinance; social enterprise finance and social economy; measures to promote gender equality skills, education, training and related services; social infrastructure (including health and educational infrastructure, social and student housing); social innovation, including social impact, impact investing and social outcome contracting; health and long-term care; inclusion and accessibility; cultural and creative activities with a social goal, etc.
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