Tag Archives: European investment bank

Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors' assets

Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors’ assets

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors’ assets

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors’ assets

Even with a court judgment obtained, recovering cross-border debts may be difficult for creditors in practice if no information on the debtors’ assets or whereabouts is available. Because of this, the European Commission has adopted a Green Paper launching a public consultation on how to improve the recovery of debts through possible measures such as registers and debtor declarations.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 6 March 2008 on the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union: the transparency of debtors’ assets [COM(2008) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The late and non-payment of debts is detrimental to business and customers alike, particularly when no information is available on the debtor’s assets or whereabouts. This is a particular cross-border issue in debt recovery and has the potential to affect the smooth running of the internal market. In launching a public consultation, the European Commission has outlined the problems of the current situation and possible solutions in this Green Paper. Interested parties can submit their comments by 30 September 2008.

State of play

The search for a debtor’s address and information on his financial situation is often the starting point for enforcement proceedings. At national level, most Member States mainly use two different systems for obtaining information, either:

  • systems of declaration of the debtor’s entire assets or at least a part of it to satisfy the claim;
  • search systems with specific information (registers).

In this Green Paper, the European Commission focuses more on a series of measures instead of one single European measure to allow the creditor to obtain reliable information on the debtor’s assets and whereabouts within a reasonable period of time. Possible measures include:

  • drawing up a manual of national enforcement laws and practices: at present, there is very little information on the different enforcement systems in the 27 European Union Member States. Such a manual could contain all sources of information on a person’s assets, which could be accessed in each country; contact addresses, costs, etc.
  • increasing the information available and improving access to registers: the main sources of information on the debtor are public registers, such as commercial or population registers. However, these vary from one Member State to the next. The Commission is asking whether to increase information available in and access to commercial registers and in what way access to existing population registers should be enhanced. Furthermore, access to social security and tax registers by enforcement authorities may be increased, while respecting rules of data protection and social and fiscal privacy.
  • exchange of information between enforcement authorities: currently, enforcement bodies are not able to directly access the (non-public) registers of other Member States which are open to national enforcement bodies. In addition, there are no international instruments dealing with the exchange of information between national enforcement bodies. In the absence of a Europe-wide register, enhancing cooperation between national enforcement authorities and direct exchange of information between them may a possible solution.
  • measures relating to the debtor’s declaration: enforcement bodies have in several Member States the option to question the debtor directly regarding his assets, whereas in some Member States the debtor’s declaration is made in the form of a testimony before the enforcement court. In some Member States, the debtor has to fill out mandatory forms, and in others a debtor’s declaration does not exist at all. The European Commission is considering introducing a European Assets declaration, obliging the debtors to disclose all assets in the European judicial area. In this way, the transparency of the debtor’s assets would not be limited by the territoriality of the enforcement proceedings.

The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank

The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Provisions and instruments of regional policy

The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank

In its corporate operational plan the EIB sets out its medium-term policy and identifies its operational priorities in the light of its objectives as laid down by its governors. For the 2011-2013 period, lending activity is geared around the following priorities:

  • cohesion and convergence;
  • support for the knowledge economy;
  • development of trans-European networks (TENs);
  • environmental protection;
  • support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure energy;
  • human capital.

Economic and social cohesion in an enlarged European Union

The EU cohesion policy aims to reduce economic and social disparities between the different EU regions. Moreover, the Commission implements this policy through the Structural Funds which provide grants to the European regions.

The EIB complements the action of the Structural Funds through loans it provides under the framework of the cohesion policy. These loans represent a second source of funding for projects undertaken at local or regional level.



Support for the knowledge economy

The EIB is working towards creating a knowledge economy aimed at stimulating economic growth, employment and social cohesion. Under this aim, the EIB supports investment in three areas:

  • education;
  • research and development;
  • innovation.

Development of trans-European networks

The EIB also provides major support for funding trans-European networks (TENs). These networks are infrastructure networks for transport, energy and communication.

Environmental protection

Projects supported by the EIB in the field of environmental protection concern the following sectors:

  • the urban environment;
  • sustainable transport;
  • water resource management (supply and sanitation);
  • combating climate change;
  • renewable energies and energy efficiency.

In addition, all projects financed by the EIB, whichever kind they may be, must comply with European principles, practices and standards in environmental matters.

Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The EIB provides medium and long-term funding for SMEs through credit lines made available to intermediaries (banks or other financial institutions). Through these credit lines, intermediaries can support limited-size investment projects run by SMEs.

The EIF, for its part, supports SMEs either directly by providing own resources through venture-capital funding, or indirectly by guaranteeing portfolios of loans to SMEs held by financial institutions or public guarantee agencies.

Promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure energy

Supporting the EU’s energy needs is one of the EIBs lending priorities. The EIB therefore focuses its action on five priority areas:

  • renewable energy;
  • energy efficiency;
  • research, development and innovation;
  • diversification and security of internal supply;
  • external energy security and economic development.

Human capital

The EIB contributes human capital by granting loans in the health and education sectors. Loans provided by the EIB may, for example, finance new buildings, equipment or even be invested in university research.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.


Another Normative about The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank

In its corporate operational plan the EIB sets out its medium-term policy and identifies its operational priorities in the light of its objectives as laid down by its governors. For the 2011-2013 period, lending activity is geared around the following priorities:

  • cohesion and convergence;
  • support for the knowledge economy;
  • development of trans-European networks (TENs);
  • environmental protection;
  • support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure energy;
  • human capital.

Economic and social cohesion in an enlarged European Union

The EU cohesion policy aims to reduce economic and social disparities between the different EU regions. Moreover, the Commission implements this policy through the Structural Funds which provide grants to the European regions.

The EIB complements the action of the Structural Funds through loans it provides under the framework of the cohesion policy. These loans represent a second source of funding for projects undertaken at local or regional level.



Support for the knowledge economy

The EIB is working towards creating a knowledge economy aimed at stimulating economic growth, employment and social cohesion. Under this aim, the EIB supports investment in three areas:

  • education;
  • research and development;
  • innovation.

Development of trans-European networks

The EIB also provides major support for funding trans-European networks (TENs). These networks are infrastructure networks for transport, energy and communication.

Environmental protection

Projects supported by the EIB in the field of environmental protection concern the following sectors:

  • the urban environment;
  • sustainable transport;
  • water resource management (supply and sanitation);
  • combating climate change;
  • renewable energies and energy efficiency.

In addition, all projects financed by the EIB, whichever kind they may be, must comply with European principles, practices and standards in environmental matters.

Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The EIB provides medium and long-term funding for SMEs through credit lines made available to intermediaries (banks or other financial institutions). Through these credit lines, intermediaries can support limited-size investment projects run by SMEs.

The EIF, for its part, supports SMEs either directly by providing own resources through venture-capital funding, or indirectly by guaranteeing portfolios of loans to SMEs held by financial institutions or public guarantee agencies.

Promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure energy

Supporting the EU’s energy needs is one of the EIBs lending priorities. The EIB therefore focuses its action on five priority areas:

  • renewable energy;
  • energy efficiency;
  • research, development and innovation;
  • diversification and security of internal supply;
  • external energy security and economic development.

Human capital

The EIB contributes human capital by granting loans in the health and education sectors. Loans provided by the EIB may, for example, finance new buildings, equipment or even be invested in university research.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

A European initiative for growth

A European initiative for growth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A European initiative for growth

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Review and the future of regional policy

A European initiative for growth

Step up efforts to mobilise public and private funds for investing in networks and knowledge-sectors with a high potential for growth.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission – A European initiative for growth – Investing in Networks and Knowledge for Growth and Jobs – Final Report to the European Council [COM(2003) 690 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

This initiative will help to boost European economic growth. The report sets out the measures required to attract the necessary funds, whether from public or private sources, for investing in networks and knowledge. The initiative responds to the conclusions reached by the European Council of October 2003, which also asked the Member States to maintain sound macroeconomic policies and accelerate structural reform. The initiative was definitively adopted by the Brussels European Council in December 2003.

Action to develop trans-European networks (TENs) in transport, energy and telecommunications and invest in research and innovation is essential. It stimulates the growth and competitiveness of European companies and helps to create an enlarged internal market in keeping with the objectives of economic and social cohesion policy.

The European initiative focuses on three areas:

  • launching the “Quick-start” programme;
  • coordinating the existing and new Community financing instruments;
  • introducing regulatory and administrative measures to encourage investment.

A “Quick-start” programme has been launched

The “Quick-start” programme lies at the heart of the European initiative for growth and has resulted in the compilation of a list of 54 priority projects of European interest which can be launched within three years. The total volume of investment should reach EUR 62 billion by 2010. The priority projects have been identified on the basis of four criteria: maturity, trans-frontier dimension, impact on growth and innovation, and benefits for the environment.

The 54 priority projects cover the following areas:

  • networks;

    The Commission has identified 29 trans-European transport networks requiring investment of EUR 38 billion between now and 2010. One important objective is to redress the balance between modes of transport in favour of rail and sea routes. The projects selected include the GALILEO satellite navigation system.
    In the field of energy (electricity and natural gas), 17 energy links have been identified, which will involve investment of EUR 10 billion up to 2010. The aim is to diversify energy provision within the EU and place it on a secure footing in the run-up to enlargement. In the field of broadband communications, three projects will speed up the development of high-capacity communication networks. They will seek not only to reduce the digital divide by connecting remote and/or rural areas, but also to support research into mobile technologies and to upgrade the “Géant” network which connects universities, research centres and educational institutions.
  • research, development and innovation;


    In this area, five projects will receive funding of approximately EUR 14 billion up to 2010. Three of the projects will focus on the following key sectors: nanoelectronics, next-generation lasers and hydrogen. The two others, which seek to boost the EU’s presence in space, relate to: the new satellite-based global system for monitoring the environment and security (GMES) and the construction of a launch facility for Soyuz rockets.

This list is not exhaustive. Other projects could be eligible if they met the criteria mentioned above.

What are the existing and new financing methods at European level?

The European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will contribute fully to financing the initiative. The funds currently available and being considered are the following:

  • contribution of the Community budget;

    The annual appropriation for the TEN-transport budget line is EUR 700 million. One of the Commission’s proposals is to increase the Community’s contribution to funding the total cost of TENs projects from 10 % to 30 %.
    Approximately EUR 60 billion is provided from the Structural Funds to support investment in infrastructure (transport, energy and telecommunication), research, technological development and innovation. EUR 1.5 billion from the Cohesion Fund go to the four beneficiary Member States (Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland).
    The Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FPRTD) provides EUR 17.5 billion for research. A special budget of EUR 300 million supports the roll out of the high-speed communications backbone (GEANT).
  • contribution of the European Investment Bank (EIB);

    In terms of research, development and innovation, EUR 50 billion will be provided during this period under the EIB’s “Innovation 2010” initiative.
    The European Investment Fund (EIF) also promotes innovation by providing risk capital. 185 risk capital funds provide EUR 10 billion for 1 500 high technology businesses; EUR 2.5 billion of this comes from the EIF. The EIB has undertaken to provide an additional EUR 500 million to the fund.

It is essential that the funds available are coordinated if the initiative is to be successful. Mobilising the funds better will ensure that action is more effective. The European Commission and the EIB have defined the practical arrangements for creating synergies between the operations of the Bank, the Structural Funds and the Sixth FPRTD. As part of the economic and social cohesion policy, these arrangements are designed, in particular, to make it easier to plan structural operations on a joint basis. They involve incorporating the EIB’s overall commitments into the regional programming documents and making the appropriate adjustments to the level of funding in line with the overall cost of an operation.

The Commission and the EIB are exploring ways of increasing private investment. They are particularly interested in the following four innovative types of financing:

  • provision of third-party equity or quasi-equity;

    Under the Financial Regulation for the TENs, a share of the project budget can be provided by specialised investment funds.
  • Securitisation;

    Securitisation can help to increase the available pool of resources from financial markets for new growth-inducing investments. Using securitisation funds, the financial institutions involved in structural operations will pool their lending portfolios and securitise them to be placed with institutional investors.
  • structured Finance Facility;

    The EIB is prepared to commit EUR 50 billion to support priority TEN projects as part of the Structured Finance Facility (SFF). This facility, which is used for large-scale projects, enables the debt risk to be shared and spread. It will help to increase the availability of debt finance for the early, pre-construction stages of projects.
  • guarantee instrument;

    The Commission is examining a new guarantee instrument in the context of public-private partnerships in TEN sectors. Once projects have been completed, the instrument will cover specific commercial risks such as traffic/revenue shortfalls. This will mean that debt providers can benefit from appropriate debt service.

Regulatory and administrative measures will be necessary to encourage investment

Experience has shown that non-financial factors can often be more powerful barriers to the viability and attractiveness of particular projects than the actual lack of funding.

The Council and the European Parliament have been asked to draw up legislation in the following five areas:

  • the method of financing trans-European networks and the priorities of the transport TENs — the adoption of priorities for transport networks will also make it possible to declare that a project is “of European interest” and to appoint a coordinator/coordinating body for it;
  • charges for and financing of transport infrastructure (“Eurovignette proposal”);
  • the Community patent;
  • public contracts;
  • cross-border mergers.

The Commission, for its part, would like to make progress in the following areas:

  • simplifying the procedures for granting State aid to SMEs, particularly as regards research and innovation;
  • examining the treatment of public-private partnerships (PPPs) under Community public procurement rules;
  • creating a legal structure for European risk capital funds;
  • setting up European technology platforms;
  • creating a European guarantee instrument to provide support for post-construction risks associated with TEN projects in the transport sector.

Statistical treatment of public-private partnerships

How should the economic ownership of the underlying asset in the PPP be established, irrespective of the legal provisions relating to ownership? Does it represent a State asset or an asset from a private partner? The application of the principle whereby economic ownership of an asset depends on which party bears the risks and rewards associated with the asset causes problems for PPPs. The European initiative for growth will clarify this matter and final decisions will be announced at the beginning of 2004.

Evaluation of progress

The progress of efforts to implement the European initiative for growth will be evaluated regularly as part of the annual reporting cycle to the Spring European Council from 2005. A more comprehensive assessment of progress will also be undertaken five years after the initiative has been launched.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work