The EIB’s headquarters are based in Luxembourg where it accommodates the majority of its staff in a transparent glass building. But as the financial arm of the EU, the bank cannot be absent from Brussels. It occupies a smaller office on the upper floor of this building on the Schuman roundabout, near other official EU buildings from where it closely follows EU affairs.
Having a double nature of bank and EU body, the mission of the EIB is to finance projects in line with EU policies and objectives, which makes it dependent on EU regulations and strategies. It is the largest multilateral lender in the world: it financed operations worth more than EUR 80 billion in 2016.
While representatives from member states sit on the bank’s Board of Directors and have the final say on the projects to be financed and the bank’s policies, the EU institutions also take part in the decision process.
The European Commission has a seat in the Board and initiates the bank’s mandate outside of the EU. The Council sets out the long term strategy and each member state has a director appointed in the bank who approves individual projects. Together with the Council, the European Parliament co-decides on the Bank’s external mandate and it expresses its assessment through a resolution on the two annual reports prepared by the Parliament’s Committees on the bank.
To influence the bank’s activities the lobbyists may either lobby different EU institutions in order to mold EU laws that will then affect the bank. Or – as the EIB stays a demand-driven bank – they may also propose possible projects to be financed directly to the EIB staff in Luxembourg.