The EIB Group is set to enhance its existing lending framework and policies to better support Europe’s security and defence industry.  

The new EIB Group Security and Defence Industry Action Plan was launched by EIB president Nadia Calviño at the EU Finance Ministers meeting on 12 April in Luxembourg. 

It includes increased backing for SMEs, revised definition of dual-use goods and infrastructure, and plans to expedite deployment of funds to fortify Europe’s security and defence capabilities. 

The EIB will no longer require dual-use projects to generate more than 50% of their revenue from civilian applications.  

This shift is projected to position EIB with other public financial institutions that finance equipment and infrastructure catering to both civilian and military/police needs.  

The sectors benefitting from this include border control, critical infrastructure protection, decontamination, drones, military mobility, reconnaissance, research and development, spectrum protection and control, and surveillance. 

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Furthermore, the EIB Group will revise its SME financing rules within the security and defence sector, opening new credit lines for smaller companies and start-ups focusing on dual-use projects.  

The bank also intends to immediately strengthen partnerships, including updating agreements with the European Defence Agency and other collaborators. 

To streamline investments and access to funding, the EIB Group is establishing a dedicated task force as well as a ‘one-stop shop’ to support security and defence projects, set to be operational by 1 May 2024.  

This initiative aims to accelerate the use of €6bn ($6.3bn) available under the Strategic European Security Initiative, enhancing the EIB’s support of the European security and defence industry. 

Currently, all these proposals are undergoing the EIB Group’s internal approval processes.  

Calviño said: “We will step up and accelerate our support for Europe’s security and defence industry while safeguarding our financing capacity and highest environmental, social and governance standards.  

“The Action Plan set in motion today will improve financing conditions for European projects. We will work together with Member States and EU institutions to speed-up projects that secure the well-being of our citizens.” 

Earlier this year, the EU proposed a European Defence Industry Programme and a framework of measures aimed at ensuring availability and supply of defence products.