§ Mr. Spring
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much venture capital the European Investment Bank has made available to small businesses since the European Council's meeting at Lisbon; how much of this capital has been made available to British businesses; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
The European Investment Bank (EIB) does not have direct responsibility for venture capital. Since June 2000 the European Investment Fund (EIF) has carried out all of EIB venture capital activity as the EIB's specialist risk capital arm.
During 2001 the EIF has invested EUR 800 million in 57 funds across Europe, primarily in the SME and start-up segments. As at the end of April 2002, EIF had a total of EUR 2115 million in venture capital operations signed.
EIF has invested EUR 504 million in UK funds including those that primarily invest in the UK and those based in the UK that have a multi-country investment strategy. This includes the single largest operation the EIF has approved with its commitment to invest EUR 86 million (£53.5 million) in the Regional Venture Capital Fund programme. Overall more than 400 companies based in Britain are benefiting from support through EIF venture capital activities.