United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

The EU External Investment Plan (EIP), including the European Fund for Sustainable Development.

European Commission (
Intergovernmental organization

    The EU External Investment Plan is helping to generate jobs, growth and prosperity in countries neighbouring the EU and in Africa. It means public and private investors are more willing to bring in investment. And in doing so, to create jobs, boost economies - and offer people a brighter future. A major component of the Plan is the European Fund for Sustainable Development, which aims in its founding regulation at supporting investments primarily in Africa and the Union’s Neighbourhood as a means to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular poverty eradication.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    Implementation of both financial guarantees and blending projects is well underway. With the guarantees, we've refocused them to help countries respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We're targeting in particular small business owners, women and young people. We're also devoting more of the available financing to: • small businesses - helping them stay afloat by: o encouraging local banks to lend more to them o making it more affordable for them to borrow - in many cases they'll be able to pay less in interest, or repay the loan over a longer period, than they would otherwise. • healthcare - and in particular testing labs. We've allocated all €1.55 billion available through the Plan for financial guarantees. This should bring in €17.5 billion in overall investment. And we’ve concluded 18 agreements with partner institutions to put all the guarantees into practice. With blending we've allocated all €3.5 billion available through the Plan for grants for blending projects – financing 181 in all. This should bring in about €32.6 billion in overall investment. In parallel we’ve provided major support to help partner countries become more attractive places in which to invest and do business (improving the investment climate). This includes: • work in 15 countries to identify what puts off potential investors – and how to bring them on board • bringing together governments and businesses on a regular basis in 16 countries to discuss challenges to securing investment • backing government reforms and other initiatives to attract more investment – to the tune of over €600 million in 2019 alone.


    Experts predict the Plan will have a major impact: Jobs and small firms More than 5.2 million jobs created/sustained Over €1.9 billion in loans and financing for local entrepreneurs, small business owners Energy, climate Each year: 14,800 MW of extra power generated 2,800 GW-hours of energy saved 15,800 kilotons of CO2 emissions avoided 48,300 GW of renewable energy generated Clean water, sanitation 3,400 km of water pipes installed or upgraded 896,300 cubic metres of extra wastewater treated daily 1,800 km of sewer pipes installed or upgraded 4,340 000 people to benefit from improved sanitation services Connectivity 7,100 km of roads built or upgraded 12,400 km of electricity lines constructed or upgraded 109,100 new connections to urban water networks Figures show the expected results of blending projects approved in 2017-19. Expected results for the EFSD guarantees are also included in figures for jobs, CO2 cuts, and renewable energy.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Enabling conditions – the EU has provided substantial funding for the Plan - €5.1 billion - and has established close partnerships with financial institutions and governments, business and civil society groups in partner countries. This has allowed the Plan to generate over €50 billion in overall investment – a major contribution to the SDGs.

    Sustainability and replicability

    In its next long-term budget (2021-2027), the EU will continue to use the financing model of the EFSD through its successor, the EFSD+. This will have significantly more financing and a much wider geographic scope.

    Other sources of information

    Website: www.ec.europa.eu/eu-eip Videos: The EIP in 90 seconds: https://europa.eu/!Pw83Qt My EIP story: Mulhem: https://europa.eu/!Rn68MC Jeannette: https://europa.eu/!Xg66qH Milembe: https://europa.eu/!BH74BC

    COVID-19 Impact

    See text above on ‘Implementation’.

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    01 September 2017 (start date)
    01 June 2025 (date of completion)
    European Commission
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    Other beneficiaries

    Beneficiaries - The Plan targets women, migrants and refugees in particular. They often struggle to secure investment in their businesses. It also promotes investment in the least developed countries, where investment rates can be especially low. Partnerships The EU is partnering with 14 international financial institutions, and in partner countries with local EU delegations, governments, and business and civil society groups.

    Contact Information