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Historical Archives of the European Union

New files from the European Investment Bank

The files and analytical inventory for a June 2023 transfer from the European Investment Bank are now online at the Historical Archives of the European Union.

25 July 2023 | Research


257 additional files from the European Investment Bank (EIB), along with the associated inventory, are now available for online consultation at the Historical Archives of the European Union. The files pertain to the EIB’s governance activities, financing on development projects, and trips carried out to review the results of projects financed by the Bank.

The files concerning the EIB’s governance activities include minutes from the EIB Board of Governors and Board of Directors meetings for 1992, which typically include the participants, agenda, deliberations and decisions of those meetings.

The June transfer was especially rich in files on the EIB’s early development projects; the Bank transferred dossiers for 70 projects financed by the Bank between 1964 and 1967.  While most of the loans supported projects in the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (EEC), many others were aimed at development initiatives in new associate countries. For example, ten loan agreements included in the transfer were for projects in Greece, which, with the signing of the Athens Agreement in 1961, had become the first Associate Member of the EEC. Moreover, six files deal with development projects in African countries belonging to the Associated African States and Madagascar (AASM), with which the EEC had signed the Yaoundé Convention in 1963.

The projects spanned numerous sectors, such as transport infrastructure, industry, agriculture, energy, and water infrastructure and irrigation.  Most project dossiers comprise the project description, the loan agreement, and monitoring reports. Some also include illustrative photographs, technical drawings and maps. 40 of the projects were located in Italy, ten in Greece, eight in Germany, five in France, and one in Belgium. Among the loans towards the AASM, four were in Cameroon, one in Senegal and one in the Congo. Notable among these are the vast ‘Canal de Provence’ in France, the A5 motorway between Aosta and Quincinetto in Italy, and an expansion of a natural gas network in Germany’s Saxony. The projects in Africa supported manufacturing, such as sugar and textiles in Cameroon, and a fertilizer plant in Senegal. 

Finally, the transfer also included documents from the EIB General Secretariat relating to trips by the Board of Directors to France, Germany, Turkey and the Ivory Coast to inspect projects financed by the Bank. These journeys served to consolidate relationships between the EIB and its development partners and lay the groundwork for future collaboration. The files include itineraries, notes, presentations, correspondence, summaries and more. 

The EIB is the financial institution of the European Union created by the Treaties of Rome (1957) to contribute to regional development and economic cohesion. Its historical archives were deposited at the HAEU under the terms of a convention signed on the 1st of July 2005 with then EIB Vice-President Gerlando Genuardi. Since 2015 the EIB transfers its archives to the HAEU under the 2015 Framework Partnership Agreement between the HAUE and the EU institutions. 

Consult the inventory of the holdings of the European Investment Bank here

Last update: 25 July 2023

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