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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 project and export finance of KfW IPEX Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of KfW, to strengthen the German and European export economy. In addition, KfW uses EU risk-sharing guarantees to facilitate access to credit for young companies. KfW pools its resources with those of the European Commission to strengthen the impact of EU development cooperation and contribute to the German government's common goals with the EU. KfW Development Bank and DEG cooperate with EU institutions and other bilateral and European promotional banks on specific projects to combat poverty, improve the living conditions of people in developing countries and protect the climate and oceans.

Cooperation with European promotional banks

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

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Development Cooperation

European cooperation within the framework of development cooperation.

Our commitment in Europe

The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) continues its efforts

Currently only 38% of a total 2.5 billon tonnes of waste is recycled and reintegrated into economic value chains. Through the 'circular economy' concept, products and processes are being redeveloped so that resources can be used many times over and hence the amount of waste is being reduced. The advantages of transitioning from a linear business model towards a circular economy include not only environmental benefits, but also a reduced resource dependency and the creation of jobs through innovations and the development of materials, products and processes. To support this transformation, the circular economy is an important pillar of the European Green Deal.

To implement circular economy, the six main public promotional banks of the European Union (BKG Poland, CDC France, including BpiFrance, CDP Italy, ICO Spain, KfW Germany as well as the EIB) decided to launch the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE). JICE shall provide long-term financing for projects which accelerate the transformation towards circular economy. The participating JICE partners aim to provide at least ten billion Euros of investments in circular economy projects by the end of 2023. As of the end of 2022 projects worth €8.9 billion have been funded across a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, industry and services, mobility, urban development, waste and water management. Projects span all stages of the value chain and the life cycle of products and services, from design to value recovery.

In July 2023 the existing JICE members decided to prolong their joint initiative beyond the original time frame of 2023. At the same time, partners decided to open their initiative to further interested and committed European promotional banks and institutions.

The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) reaches €8.9 billion and continues its efforts | KfW

Green hydrogen from Chile for the energy transition

Staatsoberhaupt und Präsident der Europäischen Kommission geben gemeinsame eine Presseerklärung ab
From left to right: Carmiña Antezana (deputy director of the KfW office in Bolivia), Juan Gorriño and Kristin Lang (EIB), EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, State President Gabriel Boric, Finance Minister Mario Marcel and José Benavente (CORFO)

Chile has excellent conditions for using solar and wind power to generate energy and hence a high potential for the cost-effective and sustainable production of green hydrogen. By 2030, the country strives towards becoming the world’s cheapest provider of the ‘fuel for the future’. The Chilean government is now supported by the EU and KfW. In June 2023, the Team Europe Renewable Hydrogen Funding Platform for Chile was launched at the highest political level by EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Chilean state president Gabriel Boric. The development of the green hydrogen economy in Chile will be driven forward, taking social and ecological interests into account, by means of a financial contribution of EUR 216 million in total, under the leadership of KfW. The project is being implemented by the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), which will use the funding for the development of specific projects for the production and use of hydrogen based on renewable energy.

On the whole, the joint commitment of the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and KfW (on behalf of the German government) is an essential contribution to implementing the EU’s 'Global Gateway' investment and connectivity strategy in collaboration with Chile. KfW supports the EU as an implementing partner and brings their long-standing expertise to bear as a development bank with a worldwide network of local and regional offices. With our European JEFIC-partners (AFD, AECID, BGK and CDP) we pool our potential to jointly offer the best solutions for development cooperation.

Press Release by the EU Delegation in Chile

National development banks support Ukrainian refugees

The Ukrainian flag flies in the foreground of the Central Election Commission building in Ukraine.

In May 2022, the EU's national development banks and institutions (CDC, CDP, ICO, BGK and KfW, ELTI) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), committed to provide EUR 2 billion financing in support of Ukrainian refugees until the end of 2022. The initiative was launched shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It aimed to assist Ukrainian refugees in the European Union and internally displaced persons in Ukraine by providing financial resources through a variety of measures reaching from housing to education, from employment to childcare and from medicine to humanitarian support. Some projects were also directed at helping refugees to integrate into their local communities.

The initiative closed end of 2022 with a total financing volume of EUR 3.1 billion. The European Promotional Banks will continue their support for Ukraine with individual measures in accordance with the national and European authorities.

KfW CEO Stefan B. Wintels: „The humanitarian situation in Ukraine remains dramatic. Through joint action we have been able to initiate a large number of support measures. Every single contribution helps to alleviate the burden of internally displaced persons and refugees abroad.”
“We need to ensure continued support to the Ukrainian economy. It is my firm belief that we cannot afford a pause in our support in the coming weeks and months. It is the rational thing to do to keep the Ukrainian economy running in these hard and difficult times”, EIB-President Werner Hoyer says.

Project examples within the framework of the CARE Initiative:
  • TUMO goes virtual for Ukrainian youths
  • Former Kurhaus Viktoria in Schönwald accommodates refugees
  • EIB finances urban infrastructure for Rzeszów in eastern Poland
  • Joint efforts by staff to support Ukraine

Ukraine measures (16 December 2022)

Growth capital for tech companies

View of the Frankfurt skyline

Although young technology companies offer enormous growth and innovation opportunities, the market for venture capital in Europe has significant catch-up and further development potential compared to the Anglo-Saxon region. KfW is addressing this deficit in line with the EU strategy of a Capital Markets Union through its subsidiary KfW Capital, which has been an important investor in the VC market since 2018. To support the development of tech companies in Europe, five national VC investors, namely Bpifrance (France), Tesi (Finland), Hellenic Development Bank of Investments (Greece) Vækstfonden (Denmark) and KfW Capital (Germany) have entered into a cooperation agreement to mobilise EUR 3.3 billion for fund investments in Europe over the next 5 years. The strategic cooperation was signed at the "Growing together" event in Athens in April 2022 and is open to further partners among European public investors. In addition, KfW Capital has designed the Future Fund for Germany in close cooperation with policymakers with a total volume of EUR 10 billion, of which EUR 7 billion can already be drawn down.

New goal declared - with the "Clean Oceans Initiative" against plastic waste in the world's oceans

Sea turtles under water

Once hailed as a miracle material, plastic has now become a plague of our time. An estimated eight million tonnes end up in the world's oceans every year. To counteract this, KfW, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French development bank AFD, founded the Clean Oceans Initiative in 2018. Two years later, the Spanish ICO and the Italian CDP joined and, since this year, also the EBRD.

Plastic waste in the oceans is currently one of the biggest global challenges, because the oceans are indispensable for the planet. They provide food, medicine, renewable energy and many other resources. But they also regulate the climate and are one of the world's largest CO2 reservoirs. Keeping the oceans intact is therefore a major concern for KfW.

Originally, the Clean Oceans partners had set themselves the goal of mobilising 2 billion euros in projects to reduce plastic and other litter in the world's oceans by 2023. By the end of 2021, 80% of this target had already been met. At the One Ocean Summit in Brest, the initiative was therefore extended and the target increased to 4 billion euros by 2025.

KfW Stories

"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

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"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.

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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.

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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 February 2023

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