Boost investment in the sustainable blue economy: Commission and European Investment Bank Group join forces

Following yesterday’s communication on Sustainable Blue Economy, the Commission and the European Investment Bank Group, composed of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), are announcing an increased cooperation to implement the new blue economy strategy. Both institutions will work together with Member States to meet existing financing needs in order to reduce pollution in European seas, with particular focus on circular economy approaches, and support investment for blue innovation and blue bioeconomy. Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “Oceans are an incredible resource of renewable energy, food and innovative medicines and solutions. They host many economic activities constituting the blue economy. But our seas and oceans are also fragile ecosystems that need our protection. Our partnership with the EIB Group will help projects take off ground to achieve a climate-neutral, circular and clean blue economy in the EU.” The European Commission and the EIB will carry out a comprehensive market study and identify projects worthy of investment for pollution avoidance and reduction, such as, biodegradability, recycling and re-use along the entire plastic value chain. They will also prepare a framework to stimulate investments in innovation linked to the oceans and seas, and to implement the Farm to Fork and bioeconomy strategies. The EIF and the Commission will jointly develop solutions for equity and guarantee funding. This will provide Member States’ Managing Authorities with ways of matching their national resources with funding from relevant European funds, in particular the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) through financial instruments and blending operations. The EIF is managing the BlueInvest Fund and is financing businesses in the blue economy sector via equity funds selected earlier this year. More information is in the news release.