ILUNION receives EUR 35 mn financing from EIB under Juncker Plan

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing ILUNION[1] with EUR 35 million in financing with the objective of creating jobs[2] for people with disabilities[3] and investing in improving energy[4] efficiency. This is the first loan made by the EIB[5] to a social economy[6] enterprise in Spain[7] and it has received the backing of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the ‘Juncker Plan’.

The agreement was signed in Brussels today by Vice-President of the EIB[8], Emma Navarro, and the President of ILUNION[9], Alberto Durán, during a ceremony attended by Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and the President of the ONCE[10] Group, Miguel Carballeda.

ILUNION is made up of enterprises from the ONCE[11] social group, Spain’s largest employer of people with disabilities. The EIB[12] funding[13] under the Juncker Plan[14] will provide the financing necessary to enable the group to implement its investment[15] plan up to 2021. These investments concern the renovation of the group’s chain of industrial laundrettes to incorporate more energy-efficient technologies[16], the construction of a new hotel in Spain[17] and the renovation of existing hotels, and the development of a range of devices to improve the lives of people with any type of disability. All of these measures share a single objective: to promote the employment of people with disabilities. The project will, in fact, make it possible to create 200 new permanent jobs[18] plus a further 725 during the implementation phase.

During the signing ceremony held today in the EIB[19] offices in Brussels, Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen said: “The project shows perfectly what the European Fund for Strategic Investments was created to support: it is highly innovative, promoting social inclusion[20], energy[21] efficiency, and job creation. ILUNION’s success shows us once more that doing good and running a successful business are perfectly compatible. The Commission has put forward a pillar of social rights and is committed to increasing social investment[22], and this project is the embodiment of this commitment. And we aim to do even more to support the social economy[23] in the future through the InvestEU Programme.”

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