Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Political Science

Major Professor

Mark Amen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Northcutt, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Abdelwahab Hechiche, Ph.D.


european union, development bank, european bank of reconstruction and development, regional development, regional lending


Since the implementation of the Treaty of Rome in 1958, the Common Market of six European states has grown to the European Union of twenty-five states as of May 2004. From the outset, the integration of these states into a single economic system has made more apparent the differences in levels of economic development among and within the member states. The original members of the Common Market were aware of these regional differences in 1958 and created the European Investment Bank as part of the Treaty of Rome to provide investment funds to reduce the development gap among the member states.

This thesis assesses the extent to which the European Investment Bank has contributed to closing this gap. An analysis of its lending to the fifteen member countries of the European Union between 1995 and 2001 establishes that the economic development gap has not been reduced and that the lending policies of the EIB have not significantly contributed to solving differences in levels of development among these member states. Examining the GDP of the member nations during this time period reveals that the EIB has been unable to spur economic growth and close the development gap. Particular attention is paid to those member states who received the greatest percentage of EIB lending.