Former EIB president faces corruption probe

Former EIB president faces corruption probe

/ 09:17 AM June 25, 2024

Former head of EU bank faces corruption probe

European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer attends GLOBSEC’s 2023 Bratislava Forum in Bratislava on May 29, 2023. The forum takes place until May 31. (Photo by Michal Cizek / AFP)

Brussels, Belgium — The former head of the European Union’s lending arm is under investigation for corruption and abuse of influence — accusations he rejects as “absurd,” his lawyer said Monday.

Werner Hoyer ran the European Investment Bank (EIB) for 12 years until 2023.


The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) said in a statement there was an ongoing investigation involving “two individuals suspected of corruption and abuse of influence, as well as the misappropriation of EU funds”.


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The Luxembourg-based EPPO has the job of cracking down on fraudulent use of EU funds.

It would not name the two individuals but a lawyer for Hoyer, 72, confirmed that the German economist was the subject of an investigation.

The case revolves around the departure of an EIB employee and the compensation the individual received, Hoyer’s legal team said.

Hoyer signed off on the exit package, in accordance with EIB rules, but was never involved in the negotiations surrounding the employee’s departure, the team added.

Hoyer said the allegations against him were “downright absurd and unfounded”.


“I now expect them to be fully investigated and clarified and ask the EIB to co-operate fully with the EPPO,” he said in a statement through his lawyer.

“I am also co-operating fully with the EPPO and demand a full clarification of the facts from there.”

Hoyer’s lawyer Nikolaos Gazeas said they were “calmly awaiting the investigations”, adding that the former EIB chief had “expressly requested” his immunity be waived.

“The legal requirements for starting an criminal investigation by the EPPO is very low. It is therefore not unusual in legal terms for the signatory of an agreement to also become a subject in an investigation,” the lawyer added.

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Former Spanish economy minister Nadia Calvino replaced Hoyer in January after a fierce battle for the job with the EU’s current competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.

TAGS: Corruption, EIB, European Union

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