“In 2021, we have put in place the building blocks for a more focused, digital and green institution. These changes will keep us central to Europe’s response to the challenges of this world.”

Werner Hoyer

Chairman of the Board

2021 has been an exceptional year for the EIB Group, marked as much by our COVID-19 response as our digital and green focus. The EIF has played a critical role in extending financial support to a record number of small businesses that make up the backbone of the European economy, far exceeding expectations.

With the European Guarantee Fund, the EIB Group is on course to reaching its original target of close to €200bn of investment supported. This has been an ambitious project, designed and deployed in record time, powered by the sheer determination of our staff. Coming over and above normal business, this is an outcome of which we are particularly proud. The EIF in particular has deployed a large part of EGF resources in supporting the markets down to their smallest actors, thereby achieving a real impact in contributing to the growth of European businesses.

This past year has also constituted a landmark in relation to the EIF’s shareholding, with a historic capital increase of €1.25bn to fuel these efforts, but more importantly perhaps, reconfirming the commitment of EIF shareholders to our shared vision of a strong financial ecosystem that can effectively channel support to small businesses all over Europe.

At the same time, 2021 saw on both sides of the Group, EIB and EIF, a greater focus on climate and environmental sustainability and the introduction of new green policies that will urge our counterparties and partners to align their businesses with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We were also able to demonstrate at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow how seriously we are taking this challenge and with carefully selected investments, we are bringing substance to Europe’s green transition. Without doubt, we have travelled a long way towards meeting the goals of our Climate Bank Roadmap, but we all know there is still much to be done.

“We have worked tirelessly to accompany entrepreneurs who see opportunities to innovate, create, transform and transition, but also those businesses who need help and financial support to get back on the path to growth.”

Alain Godard

Chief Executive

I am a firm believer that the greatest added value of a public institution is at times of crisis. And when EU Member States and the EIB Group teamed up in 2020 to put together the European Guarantee Fund, we knew this was going to be an extraordinary year.

We have seen a rapid roll-out of the EGF, alongside strong delivery of all our other instruments, enabling us to reach volumes (€30.5bn) never achieved in the history of the EIF and indeed more than doubling last year’s performance figures.

At the same time, we have re-centred our activity around relevant thematics and policy objectives, ensuring that the way we operate is in line with the EIB’s Climate Bank Roadmap, EU policy goals and UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have established systems that will help us better target our investments and at the same time better identify and quantify our impact, while keeping in close alignment with the EIB.

More than anything else, this year has been marked by outstanding staff commitment. The pandemic may have substantially changed the way we work, how we interact amongst ourselves and with our stakeholders, but we have seen how agile, resilient and resourceful this team can be, delivering unprecedented volumes in record time.

In the coming year, the EIF will continue the shift toward a stronger thematic approach in our business model, to drive our transformative growth. With 2021 very much focused on volumes, 2022 will be the year to consolidate our activities and really work on our thematic objectives for lasting positive change, steadfast in our commitment to helping European businesses to recover and thrive in these testing times.