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Advocacy letter | July 21, 2015

The Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a coalition of companies, governments, investors and civil society organisations has unanimously downgraded Azerbaijan to a "candidate country". Azerbaijan will be suspended from the EITI in April 2016 if it does not comply with a set of requirements that ensure civil society can work freely in the country.

Advocacy letter | July 20, 2015

On Wednesday 22 July the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will decide whether it will arrange a loan of up to $ 500 million to Russia’s Lukoil for the Shah Deniz II offshore gas project in Azerbaijan.

Together with the campaigners of Sport for Rights and sixteen other NGOs, Bankwatch has written a letter to the EBRD’s president and its directors. We urge them to reject the project because Azerbaijan fails the EBRD’s basic requirements which include human rights, multi-party democracy, rule of law and pluralism.

Advocacy letter | July 16, 2015

In this letter to EIB, civil society organisations point out that the EIB's forthcoming climate policy cannot only be limited to repackaging previous climate commitments or solely focusing on technical incremental changes. In the framework of the new EU 2030 climate and energy targets and the forthcoming international climate conference in Paris, ambitious new policy commitments are indispensable to make the EIB credible.

Briefing | July 13, 2015

This paper addresses the challenges faced by civil sociey organisations in building and maintaining their capacities for fully contributing to monitoring and the
implementation of ESIF 2014 - 2020.

As exemplified by best practices from Poland and Slovakia, Techncial Assistance can indeed support civil society partners' comprehensive involvement in the policy cycle. However, financial support for partners is more an exemption than a common practice in the CEE region.

Advocacy letter | July 1, 2015

The request is made in the context of Ukraine's obligations under the Espoo convention, such that the EBRD and EuroAtom should "take steps for suspending the loan proceedings until a full trans-boundary EIA process for nuclear units lifetime extension is launched and carried out in accordance with international treaties to which Ukraine is a party."

Policy comments | June 25, 2015

Following an on-site visit in the Upper Svaneti region in Georgia, these comments find substantial weaknesses in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Nenskra hydropower plant, in particular with regards to the engagement and consultation of local communities.

See also the comments on the final Nenskra EIA report.

Briefing | June 19, 2015

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) represent significant investments in the EU’s physical infrastructure and the development of human potential, helping to increase the continent's economic, social and territorial cohesion, including the environmental integrity of its natural environment.

This briefing gives an overview of the legal background and the guiding principles for applying project selection criteria during the implementation phase of EU funds, illustrated by a number of case studies and examples from different countries.

Briefing | June 8, 2015

By signing the Energy Community Treaty in 2005, countries in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova agreed to abide by the European Union's competition rules. But a number of energy sector investments are being planned that may not so far have taken adequate account of state aid rules. This briefing includes case studies of projects from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine.

See related materials including a more detail briefing, a press release and a slideshow at:

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Study | June 8, 2015

By signing the Energy Community Treaty in 2005, countries in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova agreed that the European Union's competition rules are to be applied also within their territory. A number of energy sector investments are being planned that may not so far have taken adequate account of State aid rules. This briefing therefore provides a summary to draw attention to relevant requirements of EU law and highlight the risks of failure to take them into account when planning investments. The account when planning investments.

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Study | June 3, 2015

In November 2014 CEE Bankwatch Network visited Jordan to explore issues surrounding the Red Sea - Dead Sea Conveyance project. The aim of the mission was to understand better the problems, concerns and hopes of local communities living along the route of the project, and identify the risks and benefits of the project through interviews with specialists having knowledge of its development.

Policy comments | June 1, 2015

Despite some shortcomings of partners’ involvement during the Programming of the EU funds for 2014-2020, environmental partners could significantly improve the mainstreaming of environmental protection requirements throughout Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes. It is now all the more important to ensure partners can contribute during the implementation and monitoring of EU regional development funding.

This paper offers practical suggestions to strengthen the role of civil society:

  • Enable timely access to all relevant information,
Briefing | May 25, 2015

A fact-finding mission in April 2015 to Mongolia identified serious concerns regarding the implementation of the new Mongolian Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) legislation - in particular the specific provision on biodiversity offsetting. Oyu Tolgoi (OT), the largest mining investment ever licensed in Mongolia, has been the first project to include a biodiversity offset action in its EIA and related biodiversity management plan.