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Structural Programme Loans: Blending European Structural and Investment Funds with EIB Loans

Eugenia Kazamaki Ottersten, Maria K. Sioliou

Taking as a starting point the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the less developed EU regions in the last 50 years,, this paper highlights the use of Structural Programme Loans (SPLs): An EIB instrument that complements EU grants with EIB loans, creating leverage through blending with public/private funds and EU grants, and facilitates the implementation of the National Strategic Reference Programmes. Furthermore, the EIB’s dual identity, as a European institution and as a bank, enables the creation of institutional synergies in the implementation of SPLs and magnifies their impact on the implementation of cohesion policy. The lessons learnt during the 2007-2013 programming period, especially on institutional synergies, will be of utmost importance in the 2014-2020 programming period, in order to further develop the SPLs and spread their use for the mutual benefit of the Member States, the European Commission, and the EIB in the present relatively turbulent financial context.

Dr. Eugenia Kazamaki-Ottersten is Head of the Regional and Urban Development Division at the European Investment Bank; and Dr. Maria K. Sioliou is Programme Manager, seconded at the EIB from the European Commission (DG Regional and Urban Policy). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the European Investment Bank and/or the European Commission. The authors would like to thank the following colleagues from the EIB Projects Directorate: Mr Brian Field, Senior Advisor; Mrs Lourdes Llorens-Abando, Expert in Regional and Urban Development; Mr. Fernando Camano-Garcia, Senior Technical Advisor; Mr Guy Clause, Special Advisor to the Director General; Mr Mario Aymerich, Director of the Environment and Regional Development Department; and Mr Sebastian Hyzyk, Economist, for their valuable comments and input.


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