The EU states want the European Investment Bank (EIB) to play a larger role in financing defense projects. The EU development bank should adapt its lending policy in order to increase the defense preparedness of the international community, according to a statement adopted by the heads of state and government in Brussels in the evening.

The current definition of so-called dual-use goods should also be adjusted. These are products that can be used for civil and military purposes, such as helicopters or drones.

To date, the EIB has only been active in the defense sector with these goods – including financing for research and development. If the development bank is also to invest in pure armaments projects, the 27 EU member states would have to agree on a change in the mandate.

Critics have concerns

The EU Commission recently spoke out in favor of this. Critics have concerns that the EU development bank’s good rating could suffer as a result of such a mandate change. This could result in higher financing costs.

According to the heads of state and government, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers should also examine all options for mobilizing funds and report by June. The European Union is committed to increasing its overall defense preparedness and capacity to meet its needs and ambitions in the context of growing threats. Overall, defense spending would have to be increased and the funds would have to be invested better and faster.

The European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg, is the bank of the European Union and claims to be the largest multilateral financing institution in the world. Most recently, she has been particularly involved as a donor for climate protection and also for supporting Ukraine.