Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

EIB Shifts Focus to Clean Energy, Security, and Innovation

ECONOMYEIB Shifts Focus to Clean Energy, Security, and Innovation

Over the past 20 years, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has invested more than 85 billion euros in Poland, primarily focusing on infrastructure development such as roads and railways. Currently, energy and security are the highest priorities, with the next stages to include digitization and investments in modern technologies and innovation enhancement. The goal is to increase the number of patents and licenses generated in Poland, thereby boosting the country’s competitiveness.

“Twenty years of Poland in the European Union marks a very special moment, as the EIB alone has invested over 85 billion euros in Poland over the last 20 years. Mainly, these are investments in large-scale infrastructure, such as roads and railways, which make up over 20 percent of our portfolio, as well as support for small and medium-sized enterprises and job creation,” says Teresa Czerwińska, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, speaking to Newseria Biznes. “Remember our start in the European Union with double-digit unemployment. Today, Poland is a leader in having the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union. Gross Domestic Product has doubled over 20 years, so we can say that EIB funds in Poland have been used very effectively.”

May 1 marked 20 years of Poland’s membership in the European Union. When Poland joined, its GDP was not even 1 trillion PLN (933.1 billion PLN), while in 2023, it reached 3.41 trillion PLN. Even accounting for inflation, this represents more than a double increase. Unemployment in April 2004 was at 19.9 percent, whereas 20 years later (March 2024), it barely exceeded 5 percent. According to Eurostat’s methodology, which allows for comparisons between individual community countries, the rate was even lower at 2.9 percent. This is the lowest rate in the EU, on par with the Czech Republic. Labor productivity has more than tripled, enabled by intensive investments in transport infrastructure.

“If today we are talking about Poland attracting new investments, these would not be possible without substantial infrastructure, without roads, railways, energy,” points out Teresa Czerwińska.

Currently, the priorities are low-emission and efficient energy, as well as security, meaning investments in critical infrastructure.

“Last year, we invested over 5 billion euros in Poland, with over an 80 percent increase in the energy sector, meaning the energy transformation. This year, we will continue that. The priority is the energy transformation, a just transformation, mainly the expansion of renewable electric energy production, but also energy networks. The idea is that the entire energy chain is covered by our financing, meaning production, distribution, and storage,” the expert explains. “The second priority is, of course, investments in security, meaning critical infrastructure, and the use of so-called dual-use systems. I think that will be the focus for the next year 2024–2025.”

In 2023, the European Investment Bank provided almost 5.1 billion euros in financing, nearly matching the amount from 2022, which was 5.45 billion euros. EIB funding amounted to 4.67 billion euros, with the European Investment Fund contributing 632 million euros, of which 255 million euros overlapped with other projects.

Funding for the energy transformation in Poland increased by 80 percent compared to 2022, amounting to 1.78 billion euros. Support for the development of regions and cities reached 2.33 billion euros. Small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-cap companies received 633 million euros in financing. The level of EIB investments in innovative projects and human capital support was 360 million euros. The share of green financing and commitment to climate-friendly projects rose to 52 percent from 49 percent in 2022. The bank also emphasizes the importance of investments in the areas of innovation, digitization, and automation.

“We should focus on smart technology, more automation, patents, licenses that are created and registered in Poland to strengthen the competitiveness of the Polish economy. This is the next stage— the first 20 years were about basic large infrastructure, creating conditions for business, a solid base, and today we are building on that foundation. We see our role as an institution that will co-finance programs or investments funded by the European budget, as well as by national recovery plans,” highlights the EIB Vice President. “A special part is dedicated to investments in low-emission technologies and a significant portion of the funds, over 20 percent, should go to digitization. These are two areas where the bank sees itself as a partner for Poland. We conduct not only financing but also technical assistance and consultancy, which often supports our partners in preparing projects and accelerates the entire investment process regarding implementation.”

Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles