The European Investment Bank Group, which includes the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), invested €469 million in 2021 in the Slovak Republic, increasing its volume of investment of more than 122% compared to the previous year.
In 2021, the EIB lent €240 million in five operations supporting climate action, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and balanced regional development in Slovakia. At the same time, the EIF provided a record €228.8 million in six operations — two equity operations (€25 million) and four guarantee operations (€203.8 million). ). EIF operations have supported SMEs and accelerated their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President, in charge of operations in Slovakia, said: “The volumes of operations in the country once again underline the commitment of the EIB Group to remain a reliable partner for Slovakia, even in the most difficult times. The EIB Group responded to the needs of the Slovak economy and more than doubled its operations in the country compared to the previous year, which helped boost economic activity in the country, protect jobs and income of Slovaks and to ensure that the country can continue to develop its infrastructure. I am particularly proud of our contribution to the COVID-19 recovery in Slovakia and the fact that we have provided almost 361 million euros for this purpose. I would like to thank our partners from the public and private sectors, in particular the Slovak government, for their effective cooperation in the opportunity to make Slovakia stronger.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Igor Matovič, said: “These figures rank the EIB among the largest investors in Slovakia. Moreover, the EIB’s operations always follow its public policy, in particular with regard to the promotion of innovation, support for adaptation to climate change and financing of public transport, all of which contribute to making our future a little brighter. I would like to highlight the speed and efficiency with which the EIB is able to react to different situations. The bank’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been remarkable. We can see the same phenomenon today in the Russian military attack on Ukraine. I really appreciate the way we are already discussing with EIB representatives our financing needs in the context of the Ukrainian refugee crisis. This is further proof of the importance and professionalism of this institution.
The European Guarantee Fund provides 303 million euros to Slovak SMEs and ETIs
The creation of the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) enabled the EIF to provide €203.8 million in guarantees to public and private banks, and also enabled the EIB to issue additional guarantees worth €100 millions of euros. These EGF guarantees have unlocked new lines of credit for Slovak SMEs and ETIs without jeopardizing the stability of the national financial sector. These businesses have used WEF-guaranteed loans to support their liquidity, protect and create jobs, and continue to invest despite the pandemic.
The EIB Group and 22 EU Member States, including Slovakia, created the EGF in 2020 in immediate response to the pandemic, supporting the faster recovery of EU businesses. Since December 2020, the EIB Group has approved €23.2 billion in EGF guarantees in participating member countries, including Slovakia. The guarantees are expected to mobilize 174.4 billion euros of investments in SMEs and ETIs in these participating countries.
The EIB invests 240 million euros in Slovak SMEs and ETIs and in the modernization of regional infrastructures
In 2021, the EIB signed five new operations in Slovakia. It continued its excellent cooperation with the Prešov region and allocated EUR 30 million to support regional investments in transport and social infrastructure. This was the third EIB loan for regional infrastructure in Prešov. It will contribute to modernizing and renovating infrastructure by improving energy efficiency and environmental protection, while contributing to the balanced development of Slovakia.
The EIB provided an additional €210 million to the country’s banking sector through operations with Tatra Leasing Slovakia (€60 million), Societe Generale Group Slovakia (€20 million), UniCredit Group Slovakia (100 million euros) and EXIMBANKA (30 million euros). These operations supported SMEs and mid-cap companies and unlocked more accessible sources of long-term financing for liquidity needs, job protection and creation, and climate action, as well as faster recovery. after COVID-19. The operation with UniCredit Group Slovakia provided guarantees backed by the GEF.
Stable and reliable support for the Slovak economy
Over the past five years, the EIB has invested some €1.6 billion in Slovakia, half of which (€802 million) in the form of credit lines for local SMEs and ETIs. Between 2017 and 2021, the EIB supported Slovakia with €386.2 million for the national transport sector. The EIB has also invested €77.2 million in the country’s industry, €70 million in energy, €42.5 million in services, €23.7 million in development urban and 10 million euros in the modernization of the education sector. Other sectors of the Slovak economy have also benefited from EIB investments, including healthcare and composite infrastructure, which received additional long-term financing of €6.7 million from the Bank.
EIF’s record year in Slovakia, helping local SMEs and mid-caps to recover faster from the COVID-19 crisis
The EIF lent €228.8 million to the local economy in Slovakia. It provided €20 million of equity to the Slovak Venture Fund and another €5 million to Sandberg Investment Fund II. The bulk of the EIF’s contribution to the Slovak economy – €203.8 million – took the form of EGF-backed guarantees for public and private banks, including Slovenska Sporitelna, Slovenska zarucna a rozvojova banka and UniCredit Leasing Slovakia, making 2021 the most successful year on record for EIF in the country.
Since 2017, the EIF has invested some €55 million in equity, €316.5 million in guarantees and €6.9 million in inclusive finance. EIF activities in 2021 strengthened and supported the faster recovery of Slovak small and medium-sized enterprises in the face of COVID-19 and unlocked new, more affordable sources of long-term funding, essential to maintain liquidity and investment as well only to protect and create jobs.
EIB advisory services help Slovakia attract new investment for faster, greener and more sustainable development
In 2021, EIB advisory services continued to provide valuable support to the Slovak government and the country’s public and private sectors. EIB advisory services had 37 active missions in the country. In 2021, EIB Advisory Services undertook 11 new assignments and completed nine.
EIB advisory services are mainly provided in Slovakia through Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS), and include European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA), the EIB and the Invest EU advisory platform.
Climate change and environmental issues are top priorities for EIB advisory services in Slovakia, especially for Jaspers. Other sectors supported include sustainable mobility and development of the TEN-T network, just transition, energy efficiency, social infrastructure, urban regeneration, smart development, circular economy and investments in waste and the water.
The EIB will mobilize technical and financial support to modernize the Slovak railway sector, complementing EU grants from the Recovery and Resilience Fund and the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027
On 15 March 2022, the European Investment Bank and the Slovak Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding, paving the way for the active participation of the EIB Group in supporting the development of the rail infrastructure network in the Slovak Republic.
Building on long-standing cooperation between the EIB and the Slovak Republic in the transport sector, the memorandum will allow the EIB’s advisory services (JASPERS and the European Investment Advisory Hub) to provide valuable technical support to the Ministry of Transport and Construction in the preparation of railway modernization projects. EIB financing would be available to co-finance and complement European Union grants, in particular the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF), the Operational Program Slovakia 2021-2027 and the Connecting Europe Facility ( MIE).
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said: “The EIB will provide valuable technical support to the Slovak government to help it prepare vital projects for the modernization of the national railway sector. By complementing EU grants with EIB funds, we will contribute to the implementation of €4.8 billion of investments for a more affordable, green and sustainable transport network in Slovakia, which will reduce travel time, improve the quality of life, support businesses, strengthen trade and contribute to sustainable and balanced regional development of all Slovak regions. the rail sector will help us reach our ambitious climate goals faster and accelerate our progress towards a carbon-neutral Europe, a goal the European Union plans to achieve by 2050.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Igor Matovič, said: “Although the ratification of the memorandum does not imply any commitment, I consider this step to be very important for Slovakia. We all know very well how much we need effective investments in neglected rail infrastructure. Moreover, as a partner with precise evaluation methods and strict criteria linked to the implementation of projects, the EIB is a strong guarantor of transparency.”
According to current estimates, the EIB will support the development of projects which are expected to attract some €4.8 billion, of which €2.2 billion will come from EU funds. The Slovak government plans to implement the modernization projects by the end of the decade and co-finance them with EU grants, in particular from the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) and the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU 2021-2027.
The EIB has been a long-standing partner of Slovakia in the modernization of the country’s transport sector and has to date invested €2.2 billion in the modernization of major road, rail and urban infrastructure projects throughout the country.