On 4 and 5 June 2018, HBOR hosted the CEO Conference and General Assembly of the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB) established in 2000 for the purpose of representing the interests of the European state-owned banks and promotional banks. Currently, the EAPB has 31 members. During the General Assembly, Ms. Tamara Perko, President of the Management Board of HBOR was appointed Member of the Administrative Board of the EAPB.
The Conference was opened by Mr. Philippe Mills, Chief Executive Officer of SFIL and EAPB President, and participants were welcomed by Ms. Tamara Perko, President of the Management Board of HBOR and Mr. Zdravko Marić, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Croatia, who on this occasion presented the priorities of the Republic of Croatia in the context of the new EU budget on the eve of the Croatian presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2020.
The Conference gathered about 80 high invitees, among others, CEOs and members of the management boards of the EAPB members and other development institutions, representatives of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Ministries of the Republic of Croatia and local commercial banks.
Increasing the use of budget resources in the modality of the financial instruments
The goal of the Conference was to support the need for cooperation in the implementation of development policies across the EU and to encourage the discussion on an appropriate legislation framework for development banks and state-owned banks in the context of the new EU budget. Therefore, the topic of the panel discussion was the future Multiannual Financial Framework – MFF as the key budget document for the future budget period of the European Union 2021 – 2027. At the panel, it was emphasised that in the next budget period, a significant step forward would be expected in increasing the use of budget resources in the modality of the so-called financial instruments, i.e. credit funds and guarantee funds as well as risk capital funds, which, as opposed to usual schemes of grants approval, have a revolving effect. For that reason, they enable the reaching of a higher number of borrowers with the same amount of proceeds of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Throughout the last two years, HBOR has been recognised as a centre of competence for the implementation of this modality of use of the EU funds. So far, financial instruments for growth and development of SMEs and for energy efficiency of public sector buildings have been developed and implemented, whereas investment loans for agriculture, loans for energy renovation of public lighting, as well as financial instruments for energy efficiency of SMEs and large companies from the private sector are under preparation. These will be exceptionally favourable loans with low interest rates, with no bank charges and with long repayment terms. The participants of the panel were, beside Mr. Rolf Wenzel, the CEB Governor, the representatives of the European Commission, the EIB, the EIF, NRW.BANK and SID.
Tamara Perko appointed Member of the Administrative Board of the EAPB
At the General Assembly of the EAPB held a day after the Conference, elections were held for the President, two Vice-Presidents and six Members of the Administrative Board of the Association. Mr. Philippe Mills, Chief Executive Officer of SFIL was appointed President of the Association for the second term of office, and Ms. Tamara Perko, President of the Management Board of HBOR, was appointed Member of the Administrative Board of the EAPB. By the appointment of Ms. Tamara Perko to the Administrative Board, HBOR and the Republic of Croatia as well, have been accorded confidence and recognition, i.e. meaning that as an equal development institution and an EU member country they represent an important factor in the implementation of the common European policies. The operations in the previous year, planned activities and the budget of the Association for the next period were also discussed at the General Assembly.
It has to be emphasised also that this gathering of the representatives of key development institutions of the EU provided an exceptional occasion for the exchange of information, knowledge and experience, as well as an exceptional basis for better planning and drafting of HBOR’s strategies and policies in the future.