The European Investment Bank (EIB) board of directors has approved funding of €2.4bn to improve public services, upgrade infrastructure and strengthen private sector investment.
The EIB has agreed to provide €905m for five transport projects in Austria, France, Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands.
After the completion of the projects, journey times will be reduced in Paris, Amsterdam and northern Germany.
The EIB has also decided to support construction to expand the 8km cross-border Karawanken tunnel between Austria and Slovenia.
The bank has approved €177m long-term investment to improve water supply, wastewater treatment and flood protection in Kosovo, Belarus and the Netherlands.
In Kosovo, the bank will support a project to treat wastewater from the fourth largest city, Gjilan.
EIB funding will also be used to upgrade water and wastewater services in Belarus and improve the treatment of drinking water that currently exceeds internationally accepted levels of iron content.
In the Netherlands, the EIB will cooperate with NWB Bank to support new investment by regional water authorities to improve flood protection and water management.
The initiative will help adapt existing infrastructure to a changing climate as outlined in the national Delta Programme.
The EIB board has also approved funding of over €1bn to support innovation and research and back private sector investment by companies in Spain and Cyprus in cooperation with local banks.
The bank has also decided to fund projects to improve housing, healthcare and communications.
It will provide financing for the construction of 1,300 new social and affordable homes in Berlin and the construction of a modern hospital in the Belgian city of Charleroi.
The EIB will also support the provision of a new submarine cable, which will transform internet access and telecommunications in Cape Verde.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) will guarantee financing for three projects approved by the EIB board.
EIB president Werner Hoyer said: “The projects the EU Bank approved today will help people in very concrete ways: getting them quicker where they want to go, giving them access to cleaner water, helping them find affordable homes and get better hospital treatment.
“The EIB is Europe’s climate bank, and projects like the ones we approved today help us tackle climate change and its consequences, a challenge that is becoming an ever more urgent priority for Europe and the world.”
Image: Paris Line 15 south rolling stock. Photo: Courtesy of European Investment Bank.