Lending for investment in telecommunications has become a key area of activity for the European Investment Bank (EIB) in recent years, with loans totalling close to ECU 2 billion made available for investment in this sector during 1992, accounting for 12% of total EIB lending in that year. The Bank has focused its finance on the transfer from analog to digital technology, essentially on the long-distance trunk network. Last year, for this purpose, EIB funds went to companies in Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and, outside the Member States, to Bulgaria, Morocco and Senegal. Other recent EIB loans have been used for the launching of telecommunications and TV relay satellites, the construction of ground stations and the laying of submarine optical-fibre cables. The EIB's main task is to foster the balanced development of the European Community, by financing, inter alia, capital investment aiding regional development and infrastructure projects to support European economic integration. Investment in transEuropean networks is also the main component of the Community's growth initiative adopted at the Edinburgh Summit. In this context, telecommunications projects may be eligible for EIB financing if they contribute to regional development, or help improve the transEuropean network. In some cases (for example satellites) the investment may also receive EIB financial support because it makes a significant contribution to the use of new technology in Europe.
Policy making and guidelines
9 March 1993