THE departure of the UK from the European Union means that the European Investment Bank has lost a powerful member, but the EIB continues to step up its activities - including in countries where China is making inroads via the Belt & Road Initiative.
Just ahead of the United Kingdom’s departure as a member of the EIB, as part of its withdrawal from the European Union, EIB president Werner Hoyer expressed his regret about Brexit, but welcomed the firm support of the EU 27 and the constructive engagement of the UK during withdrawal negotiations.
The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union automatically ended its membership of the EIB and its 16.11% subscribed capital in the bank.
The governors of the EIB, Europe’s finance ministers unanimously agreed last year that the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union would not affect the financing activity or have any impact on the EIB’s business model.
The UK’s share of the EIB’s paid-in capital prior to Brexit represented 3.5 billion euros, alongside 35.7 billion euros of callable capital. The UK’s callable capital disappeared on Brexit day, and was replaced by the UK’s liability on callable capital.
On March 1 two member states, Romania and Poland, will contribute additional capital, providing the EIB with a higher capital base than before Brexit.
The UK will remain liable for the EIB’s pre-Brexit operations. This liability will be reduced as the EIB’s pre-Brexit exposure declines.
The EIB will reimburse the UK’s 3.5 billion euros paid-in share over 12 annual installments.