European Investment Bank (EIB)
With a lending portfolio of EUR 72 billion (2010) the European Investment Bank (EIB) is one of the world's biggest public lending institution – bigger even than the World Bank.
The EIB plays a crucial role in development finance – both within and outside the EU. But it frequently neglects environmental and social aspects in its investments, has a strong aversion to share information with the public and its staff is too small to monitor projects effectively.
Bankwatch is challenging the EIB to live up to its title “EU bank” and become a transparent and accountable institution – an institution that values real public benefits and positive environmental and social impacts as highly as lending volume and commercial viability.
As the financing institution of the European Union (EU), the EIB is an EU body and thus bound by EU policies and legislation. It provides loans to EU countries, about 140 partner countries and to private or public companies.
Although the EU's bank, the EIB is eminently failing to support EU policy goals of tackling climate change and supporting sustainable development. Its lending in the important energy and transport sectors and specifically its lending outside the EU often has clearly negative, sometimes devastating impacts on the environment and on the well-being of affected communities.
The EIB does not commit itself to a binding set of operational environmental and social policies. Time and again the EIB's billions have thus contributed to damaging impacts on people and their environment.
Despite slow improvements, the EIB remains the least transparent major public international financial institution. It takes decisions mostly solitarily without inviting or allowing others to be involved – not even those directly affected by its lending.
For more information contact our EIB campaign coordinator Anna Roggenbuck
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