Tip: Activate javascript to be able to use all functions of our website

KfW's European commitment

As Germany's national promotional bank, KfW also acts for Europe. The KfW programmes can be used without discrimination by European enterprises or private individuals based in Germany. Some of the programmes also specifically support cross-border projects. An important field of action is the project and export finance of KfW IPEX Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of KfW, to strengthen the German and European export economy. On the other hand, KfW uses EU guarantees for risk sharing to facilitate access to credit. KfW combines its strengths with funds from the European Commission to strengthen the impact of EU development cooperation and contribute to the objectives jointly agreed between the German federal government and the EU. To this end the business area KfW Development Bank and DEG cooperate with EU institutions and other bilateral and European promotional banks in specific projects to fight poverty, improve the living conditions of people in developing countries and protect the climate and the oceans.

Joint "Clean Oceans Initiative" against plastic waste in the oceans


Once hailed as a miracle material, plastic has now become a plague of our time. An estimated eight million tons are released into the oceans every year. In order to counteract this, KfW, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French development bank AFD founded the "Clean Oceans Initiative" in 2018.

In the two years since its inception, the Clean Oceans Initiative has provided EUR 1.3 billion for the long-term financing of projects to reduce the discharge of plastic and other waste into the oceans, through improved wastewater and solid waste disposal and storm and heavy rainwater drainage. The three founding members of the initiative have set themselves the target of investing EUR 2 billion in public and private sector projects up to and including 2023.

In the margins of the IMF/World Bank meeting in October 2020, it was also announced that two new partner institutions, the Italian National Promotional Institute Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the Spanish Corporate State-own Entity ICO, have joined the Initiative as new members.

KfW-News of 15 October 2020

55 years of the Élysée Treaty: cooperation with French promotional banks


On 22 January 1963 German Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle signed an agreement on Franco-German cooperation at the Élysée Palace in Paris, which has gone down in history as the Élysée Treaty. Both heads of state thus not only sealed economic cooperation between France and Germany in 1963, but also lasting peace in Europe.

As the largest German promotional bank, KfW works together with French promotional institutions to perform these tasks. Unlike in Germany, the government in France tasks three institutions with economic promotion: Caisse des Dépôts (CDC), Bpifrance and Agence Francaise de Développement (AFD). The good and trusting cooperation that KfW developed with all three promotional institutions has grown over the years. KfW, CDC, Bpifrance, AFD and the Italian promotional bank "Cassa Depositi e Prestiti" maintain a joint EU representative office in Brussels.

KfW-News of 19. January 2018

KfW in Europe

KfW is participating in the European Investment Plan.

Read more

Cooperation with European promotional banks

KfW is cooperating with many national promotional banks and institutions in the EU.

Read more

"Difficult times are European times"

Interview with Dr Jan Klasen, Head of Department of Federal and European Affairs of KfW, outlines the cooperation between Europe’s national promotional banks and institutions (NPBIs) and share their recent experience of working to counter the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis

Read more

"Our channel to Brussels"

Europe’s promotional banks are joining forces to overcome the major challenges of our time – a mission best accomplished with direct interactions on a day-to-day basis in the EU’s political and administrative capital. David Denzer-Speck runs the KfW office at the heart of the EU.

Read more

Dossier Plastic waste

In our dossier, we present the Clean Oceans Initiative co-founded by KfW, which has just celebrated its two-year anniversary – and other innovative approaches to preventing and processing plastic waste.

Read more

Dossier "Circular economy"

In our dossier, we present the European Joint Initiative on Circular economy, and projects that pursue the principle of a closed-loop economy.

Read KfW Stories

As of January 2022

Terms of Use

You may use the texts of KfW Special Topics free of charge for editorial purposes, except pdf-files created by third parties. Please note that the photographs are subject to copyright. More photos for free use you can find in the KfW Photo Archive.


KfW Group


Palmengartenstrasse 5-9

60325 Frankfurt am Main


+49 69 7431-3266