At the EU level, there is a number of associations of promotional and development banks, both public and private, active on a national or regional level. These associations serve as a networking platform offering an opportunity to share know-how and best practices as well as to discuss experiences from different markets across Europe. They also serve as a lobbying instrument towards EU institutions concerning the EU legal and regulatory framework and its changes. The National Development Bank (NRB) is currently a member of three of such associations.
AECM - European Association of Guarantee Institutions
European Association of Guarantee Institutions (AECM) has been established in 1992. Currently, it has 47 member organisations operating in 30 European countries, including those beyond the EU borders (Western Balkans, Turkey, and Azerbaijan). They share the mission of providing loan guarantees for SMEs suffering from insufficient bankable collateral. In 2021, AECM members had a total guarantee volume in portfolio of over EUR 312 bn.
AECM pursues three main aims:
- Representing the political interest of its members towards the EU institutions and other multilateral bodies (focusing on issues such as state aid regulation, EU support programmes, prudential supervision and policy response to economic crises);
- Being a platform for exchange of best practices on a variety of operational issues;
- Providing relevant technical information and statistics to promote guarantees.
AECM organizes Annual Meetings, which consist of internal meetings and public sessions , conferences and expert seminars. These events are full of thematic panels covering different issues related to the guarantee business, with various international stakeholders being present. Twice a year, it organizes operational training sessions, expert-seminars facilitating the exchange among the middle management on specific topics. AECM also enables sharing know-how and keeping dialogue through several working groups.
NRB has joined this association in 2001. Jiří Jirásek, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NRB, has been serving as an elected member of the AECM Board of Directors since 2018. This nomination strengthens the voice of smaller promotional institutions within the AECM, but also towards external partners, including the EU institutions. In February 2020, the NRB hosted one of the Board meetings in Prague. Board meetings are held three or four times per year, discussing both operational and strategic issues and planning future activities. Unfortunately, this was the last meeting before the coronavirus pandemic and the forced shift to the online platforms.
ELTI - European Long-Term Investors Association
European Long-Term Investors Association (ELTI) has been established in 2013 with the aim to promote and enhance long-term investment. While many economic and political actors focus on short-term objectives, ELTI stresses the fact that due to the rapid changes of our societies the need for long-term vision is more important than ever. Currently, ELTI has 31 members – not only national and regional promotional institutions from 23 EU countries and Turkey, but also multilateral financial institutions and associations. ELTI members offer financial solutions tailored to the specific needs of their respective countries and economies as well as specific cross-border solutions or investments with a European impact. Their activities are closely aligned to the objectives and initiatives developed by the EU aiming at fostering sustainable, smart and inclusive growth. A combined members´ balance sheet is admirable EUR 1.8 trillion.
ELTI´s mission rests on four pillars:
- Maintaining a permanent and constructive dialogue on long-term financing with EU institutions whilst representing, promoting and defending the shared interests of its members;
- Strengthening cooperation among members at an operational level and facilitating access between European and national financing schemes;
- Strengthening the access to information on matters related to the EU and exchanging information and experiences amongst members;
- Promoting academic research on long-term investments.
ELTI organizes annual General Assembly, biannual Management Board meetings, and more regular meetings of the so-called Committee of Sherpas, an operational body with one member nominated by each of the Management Board members. ELTI also organizes thematic workshops on an occasional basis as well as regular virtual exchange among members.
NRB has been a founding member of ELTI in 2013. It was also a member of its predecessor, the Club of Institutions of the European Union Specializing in Long-Term Credit (ISLTC), which it joined in 2002. Jiří Jirásek, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NRB, has been serving as a member of the ELTI Management Board since 2019. His election increased the importance of smaller promotional institutions and ensured an institutional and geographical balance within ELTI. At the 2022 General Assembly held in Malta he was appointed ELTI Treasurer.
NRB will host the next General Assembly of ELTI in October 2023.
NEFI - Network of European Financial Institutions for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
The Network of European Financial Institutions for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (NEFI) was founded in 1999 and currently consists of 21 financial institutions from 20 EU Member States and UK. NEFI members act complementary to and in cooperation with the national banking system in order to facilitate the access to finance for SMEs. They offer them financial services through different co-financing and risk-sharing mechanisms as well as a broad spectre of advisory services. In 2020, NEFI members actively supported and financed almost 2 million SMEs all over Europe with EUR 100 billion of financing mainly in the form of loans and guarantees.
NRB joined this rather informal network in May 2011. It actively participates in practical permanent working group meetings and thematic workshops (held four times a year) as well as in more strategic high-level meetings of CEOs, organized once in two years. These meetings are organized by one of the member institution on a rotating basis. During the first decade of its membership, the NRB has hosted several meetings.