InvestEU has awarded a sustainability investments guarantee of up to €114 million to the Nordic Investment Bank.
Starting from 2023, EU officials claim the guarantee will help NIB pour as much as €480 million into sustainable infrastructures, research programmes and digitisation projects.
NIB is jointly owned by the five Nordic nations (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark,) together with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the Baltics.
Barring the two non-EU nations, Norway and Iceland, the InvestEU guarantee will cover all of NIB's participating markets. In addition, the guarantee will support NIB's sustainability portfolio in Poland.
InvestEU guarantees are underwritten by the European bloc's financial budget to offset risks in its partners' lending portfolio, thereby enabling the client to increase "risk-taking capacity" in areas considered strategic to the EU. The entire EU budget guarantee, of around €26.2 billion, is projected to create more than €372 billion in new investments by 2027.
With NIB's guarantee, the net outcome is expected to be €2 billion in sustainability and digitisation-themed investments being realised from public and private sector investors.
Paolo Gentiloni, the EU commissioner for the economy, said: "InvestEU is a crucial tool in our efforts to advance successfully with the green and digital transitions of our economies.
"I am delighted that with this agreement the Nordic Investment Bank has become our implementing partner.
"Together, we can harness the full potential of InvestEU to channel investment towards green and digital projects, supporting sustainable growth and creating high-quality jobs across the Nordic and Baltic region."
InvestEU is the new brand for the old European Fund for Strategic Investments, the flagship strategic finance scheme launched under the commission's former president Jean-Claude Juncker, in addition to 13 former centrally-managed EU financial instruments.
The scheme was introduced in an attempt to leverage European Investment Bank to draw more strategic investment into Europe, providing long-term funding in support of sustainable economic growth, while also aligning with policy priorities like the Green Deal and digital transition.
Since rebranding last year, InvestEU has doubled down on its sustainable infrastructure remit, which includes everything from clean transport to renewables, rural connectivity and waste management. Through its guarantees, its strategic remit also includes spurring SME and social investment activity, as well as initiatives to spur research, innovation and digitisation.
The new guarantee partnership with Nordic Investment Bank is expected to further enhance its coverage in various sectors, including industrial decarbonisation, environmental protection, bioeconomic services and sustainable data infrastructures.
André Küüsvek, NIB CEO and president, added "The InvestEU guarantee agreement will help NIB to further mobilising financing to the green transition, with a focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, decarbonisation of industry and the transport sector, but also on innovation and digitalisation.
"NIB's strategy is geared towards taking more risk and lend more to small and medium-sized and mid-cap companies, and the EU guarantee is exactly the right tool that fits this strategy.”