Investment Plan for Europe: EIAH to provide support for the development of a new specialised children’s hospital in Bulgaria

The European Investment Bank (EIB), funded by the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), will provide support to the Municipality of Burgas, Bulgaria, to facilitate project preparation for the construction of the first children’s hospital in the country.

The construction of the new hospital is an integral part of the Burgas Municipality’s Investment Programme for the period 2020-2023 and is also considered as an important component of the country’s healthcare strategy by the Ministry of Health. The new hospital will address the healthcare needs of children and adolescents in the city of Burgas, one of the fastest growing cities in Bulgaria.

European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “The European Investment Advisory Hub is a fundamental component of the Investment Plan for Europe. Financing a project is the main objective, and sometimes to help unlock that financing, project promoters need technical assistance to get their plans ready. With support provided by the Advisory Hub, soon the Municipality of Burgas will boast the first children’s hospital in Bulgaria, which is something to celebrate.”

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, who oversees EIB Advisory Services, said: “Advisory support from the EU bank will be key to unlocking investments in the healthcare sector in Bulgaria. This support also comes at a crucial time, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, and I am very glad we will be able to support one of Bulgaria’s largest cities in delivering state-of-the-art healthcare infrastructure to its people.The EIAH support is a good example of how the EIB can bring together internal and local consultancy expertise to tackle a long-term challenge within a Member State and help bring forward an investable project.”

Mayor of Burgas Dimitar Nikolov, stated: A major goal of the administration of the City of Burgas is to constantly improve the quality of life of our citizens. The current partnership between the Municipality of Burgas and the EIB is yet another opportunity for us to do so, as it will allow us to invest in a sector of great importance for our city – child healthcare. Building a new hospital that specialises in providing medical care to children is not only important for Burgas, but for the south-eastern region of Bulgaria as a whole. It will enable medical professionals to provide efficient treatment to child patients with serious medical conditions and will eliminate the unnecessary risks involved in transporting them to major hospitals in Sofia. Moreover, the newly established medical institutions will be closely linked with the Medical Faculty of our University, which is another significant step forward in the accomplishment of our long-standing goal to make Burgas a centre of outstanding medical education. With its support, the EIB has once again proven to be a powerful ally, determined to endorse the progress of our society. We are now safe in the knowledge that the future of our community is bright, as we are ‘standing on the shoulders of giants‘!

The advisory support from the EIB and international consultancy experts will provide the municipality with a comprehensive feasibility study that will include functional planning and preliminary designs for the hospital, in line with best international practices and standards. The advisory support will also be key to unlocking access to finance for this ambitious project, including potentially from the European Structural and Investment Funds and the EIB (under the European Fund for Strategic Investments).

The new facility will be of particular importance for the region due to its concentration of established healthcare facilities and educational programmes. The project, due to be completed by 2024, will also support economic growth and facilitate specialist employment, attracting more investment to a key sector of the Bulgarian economy.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s bank. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. As the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but the Bank also supports the EU’s external and development policies.

The European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) is a partnership between the European Investment Bank Group and the European Commission under the Investment Plan for Europe. The EIAH is designed to act as a single access point to various types of advisory and technical assistance services. It supports the identification, preparation and development of investment projects across the EU. Its advisers work directly with project promoters to prepare a tailor-made advisory package to support investment projects.

The EIAH is helping project promoters active in the healthcare sector identify, prepare and implement more investments to increase the resilience of European societies.

The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI have already exceeded the  target to mobilise €500 billion in investments six months ahead of time, mobilising €514 billion by June 2020.

More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.