It may come as a surprise to many, but the European Investment Bank has been active in health and education for more than a decade, although it was not until 2007 that the European Council more officially added these two sectors to its spheres of intervention. From 2004 to 2008, the EIB financed human capital' (ie health and education) projects in around the same amount (17.1 billion) as road and motorway projects (17.6 billion).

The Council's adoption, in 1997, of a resolution on growth and employment gave the EIB new tasks: to mobilise resources to help meet these two objectives. After obtaining this political green light, the bank has steadily lent more to the health and education sectors. The money stream grew from 435 million in 1997 to roughly 3.5 billion in the following years. A new step forward in lending for health and education projects came with the Lisbon summit's adoption, in 2000, of the Strategy for Growth and Jobs.


From 2004 to 2008, the bank signed around 17,133 million of health and education loans in the EU (8,429 million for education and 8,704 million for health). Investment in education, to the extent that it helps to achieve the Lisbon agenda, is now one of the bank's top lending priorities under the Innovation 2010 initiative, which since July 2008 is known as lending for the knowledge economy'.

By financing health and education projects, the EIB endeavours to contribute to social cohesion, research, development and education. For a few years after 1997, the bank was focusing on the EU27 but it is nowadays more and more trying to turn towards the candidate countries and the Mediterranean states.

In general, most of the loans in human capital concern tangible investments like buildings and equipment. In recent years, the EIB has been approached to finance projects using an experimental and advanced cancer treatment system ( hadron therapy'), described as a "key project" judging by the reactions of the medical scientific community.


The EIB is involved in the development of education at all levels across the EU: 1. the construction and maintenance of secondary school facilities in less advanced' areas; 2. development of new ICT techniques, such as e-learning or teacher training; 3. design, construction, financing and facilities management of vocational third-level education centres; and 4. student loan facilities.

Education is a sector that is under financial pressure in most...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT