Other EU Structures

Reference work entry
Part of the The Statesman's Yearbook book series (SYBK)

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB is the financing institution of the European Union, created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as an autonomous body set up to finance capital investment furthering European integration. To this end, the Bank raises its resources on the world’s capital markets where it mobilizes significant volumes of funds on favourable terms. It directs these funds towards capital projects promoting EU economic policies. Outside the Union the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European Union development aid and co-operation policies. The members of the EIB are the member states of the European Union, who have all subscribed to the Bank’s capital. Its governing body is its Board of Governors consisting of the ministers designated by each of the member states, usually the finance ministers.

  • Address: 98–100 Blvd Konrad Adenauer, L-2950 Luxembourg.


    President and Chairman of the Board: Werner Hoyer (Germany).

European Investment Fund Founded in 1994 as a subsidiary of the European Investment Bank and the European Union’s specialized financial institution. It has a dual mission that combines the pursuit of objectives such as innovation, the creation of employment and regional development with maintaining a commercial approach to investments. It particularly provides venture capital and guarantee instruments for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 2002 it began advising entities in the setting up of financial enterprise and venture capital and SME guarantee schemes.

European Data Protection Supervisor

The European Data Protection Supervisor protects those individuals whose data are processed by the EU institutions and bodies by advising on new legislation and implications, processing and investigating complaints, and promoting a ‘data protection culture’ and awareness. The present incumbent is Giovanni Buttarelli (Italy).

European Ombudsman

The Ombudsman was inaugurated in 1995 and deals with complaints from citizens, companies and organizations concerning maladministration in the activities of the institutions and bodies of the European Union. The present incumbent is Emily O’Reilly (Ireland).

Advisory Bodies There are two main consultative committees whose members are appointed in a personal capacity and are not bound by any mandatory instruction.

1. European Economic and Social Committee. The 350-member committee is consulted by the Council of Ministers or by the European Commission, particularly with regard to agriculture, free movement of workers, harmonization of laws and transport. It is served by a permanent and independent General Secretariat, headed by a Secretary-General.

  • Address: Rue Belliard 99, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium.


    Secretary-General: Luis Planas Puchades (Spain).

2. Committee of the Regions. A political assembly which provides representatives of local, regional and city authorities with a voice at the heart of the European Union. Established by the Maastricht Treaty, the Committee consists of 350 full members and an equal number of alternates appointed for a four-year term. It must be consulted by the European Commission and Council of Ministers whenever legislative proposals are made in areas which have repercussions at the regional or local level. The Committee can also draw up opinions on its own initiative, which enables it to put issues on the EU agenda.

  • Address: Bâtiment Jacques Delors, Rue Belliard 99–101, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium.


    President: Markku Markkula (Finland).

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