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Knowledge category: Funding and financing

European Investment Bank loans for the public sector

Updated on 20.10.2022

The European Investment Bank (EIB) supplies loans to the public sector for large investment projects that align with one or more EIB priorities. The benefits of this instrument include attractive pricing, bespoke financing, project support, signalling effects and long terms.

Financial entity: European Investment Bank

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The circular economy is a topic of interest to the EIB. With EIB loans starting at € 25 million, these loans can cover up to 50 % of a project’s total cost, which may provide an important financing option for Circular Systemic Solutions.

Applicant criteria

EIB loans for the public sector are open to sovereign states, national agencies, departments, institutions and ministries, regional or local authorities, and public sector companies (e.g. utilities).

Eligible projects/themes

Projects must be aligned with one or more priorities of the EIB, which include climate and environmental sustainability, innovation and skills, infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises, cohesion and development.

Amount of funding

Loans start at € 25 million.

Application process

A project financed by the EIB typically goes through seven major stages: proposal, appraisal, approval, signature, disbursement, monitoring/reporting, and repayment. Given the range and diversity of potential projects, there is no standardised documentation requirement. Generally, the EIB expects to receive a comprehensive feasibility study, a detailed description of the capital investment together with the prospective financing arrangements.

The appraisal stage thoroughly assesses the financial, economic, social, environmental and climate aspects. It also includes a technical assessment and a review of procurement aspects and the promoter’s organisation and capacity. In parallel, the EIB consults the European Commission and the Member State(s) in which the project is located. A financing proposal then goes from the Management Committee to the Board of Directors for a final decision.

Once an operation is approved, the loan documentation can be negotiated and prepared between the EIB and the Borrower, including conditions to be fulfilled. Subsequently, the loan can be drawn down in one or more instalments, according to the Borrower’s requirements.


There is no set deadline, or the deadline is set on a needs basis.

Financing type


Territories involved

Rural areas

<5 000


large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

Metropolitan areas

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000



predominantly urban regions, intermediate and predominantly rural regions, refer to TERCET typology NUTS 3 region




Intra-territorial areas

Industrial zones

Agricultural zones

Brown field zones

Coastal areas

Mountain areas


Cross-border areas


Water areas


e.g. commercial, residential, service, industrial