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Bloomberg: European Investment Bank in talks on investing in EU defense sector

by Elsa Court March 13, 2024 6:22 PM 2 min read
Flags of European Union member states fly outside the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, on July 15, 2019. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is in talks to invest in defense companies amid heightened urgency to scale up Europe's defense industry, Bloomberg reported on March 13.

The colossal output of the Russian military-industrial complex since it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine has put the performance of the European defense industry into sharp relief.

The EU failed on its promise to deliver 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine between March 2023 and 2024, while Russia is reportedly set to produce nearly three times as many artillery munitions as the West this year.

According to Bloomberg, the move would require the EIB to extend its definition of dual-use goods, which are categorized as items, software, and technology that have both civilian and military uses.

The EIB launched its Strategic European Security Initiative in 2022, paving the way for investments in technology, civilian security, and drones. This made funding available "for dual-use projects with a chiefly civilian purpose," Bloomberg said.

Weapons and ammunition "are currently on a list of excluded activities and aren't eligible for financing," Bloomberg said, like other items that are defined as "dedicated to military or police use."

The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union and typically provides finance to initiatives in the spheres of sustainability, innovation, urban development, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and renewable energy.

Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the EIB has disbursed over 1.7 billion euros ($1.86 billion) to help finance emergency repairs to the country’s ravaged infrastructure.

‘We have to speed up:’ European Investment Bank head Hoyer calls for swift reconstruction of Ukraine
Werner Hoyer, the head of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and its vice-president Teresa Czerwinska visited Kyiv on Nov. 27 to announce a new 450-million-euro package ($493 million) to Ukraine and inaugurate the bank’s new regional hub in the capital. The sum, approved by the EIB on Nov. 15,
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