EIB and European Commission Launches Advisory Service to Help Cities Plan Investments


On November 28, 2017, the European Investment Bank (“EIB“) and the European Commission launched UBRIS (for “Urban Investment Support“), an urban advisory service with the goal of assisting cities in member states in accessing finance.  UBRIS will help design, plan and implement investment strategies and projects, including providing technical and financial advice.

Cities can apply for UBRIS assistance at the European Investment and Advisory Hub.  Eligibility criteria note that URBIS will prioritize cities seeking support related to a sustainable urban strategy with a view of developing, financing and implementing urban investment programs and that advice should be given on sustainable urban investments, in particular smart, green and socially inclusive investments.

According to press releases of the European Commission and the EIB, UBRIS will help with the following:

  • Improve a city’s investment strategy by giving advice in strategic planning, prioritizing and optimizing of investment programs and projects.
  • Bring projects and investment programs to a bankable stage, including by providing analysis on demand or support in financial structuring and by reviewing draft grant applications.
  • Explore opportunities for financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investments and/or the Cohesion Policy funds.
  • Support the preparation work for investment platforms and facilities combining funds, liaise with financial intermediaries and set up implementation arrangements for these facilities.
  • Develop financing approaches aiming at alleviating the burden on municipal debt and at helping municipal companies and private urban service providers access funding.

UBRIS will initially use EIB advisory and project services and focus on selected assignments.  The EIB and the European Commission will assess the initial work in the second half of 2018 and may consider additional resources at that time.

The EIB and European Commission press releases announcing UBRIS are available here and here.