Italy, Luxemburg, and Sweden have questioned the need for a new institution to fund development projects outside the EU, the Luxemburg Times reports.
The report presented to finance ministers at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday presented three available options to EU ministers.
The first is to turn the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) or the European Investment Bank (EIB) into an EU Development Bank. Another is to create a new institution, jointly owned by the EBRD, the EIB and national institutions. The emerging third is to work through existing institutions.
Italy’s finance minister Roberto Gualtieri said the choice of a new institution “should probably be excluded,” while Sweden’s finance minister Magdalena Andersson echoed this view as setting up such an institution would take time to become operational. Finally, Luxembourg’s Pierre Gramegna proposed spending more on development rather than investing in a new institution.
Europe is the largest provider of development aid but China is casting a shadow in certain regions, including Africa, by extending soft loans for infrastructural projects.