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European Parliament approves Juncker Investment Plan, lacks guidance and oversight

Today the European Parliament approved the regulation establishing the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) at the heart of President Juncker’s EUR 315 billion investment plan. But critics say that the regulation lacks clear provisions for oversight of the fund and guidance for investments in green, sustainable and resource-efficient projects that are part of the fund’s mandate.

After Slovenia's Sostanj coal power plant debacle, is any bank going to finance Croatia's Plomin C?

Slovenia's newly built Sostanj 6 is expected to generate losses of around EUR 200 million over the next 3-4 years. Given that Croatia's Plomin C project shares some of Sostanj 6's features could Croatia be about to repeat its neighbour's mistakes?

Italian mayor stands up against EU priority gas pipeline

Local opposition against the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP) is growing as an Italian mayor made clear in an open letter to the European Commission and European public banks.

Will energy efficiency be sidelined in the Energy Union's implementation?

EU energy ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the implementation of the Energy Union. Looking at what has been discussed so far, the strategy may not prioritise energy efficiency enough to help Europe become climate-friendly.

Better results and smoother uptake - guarantee partners' involvement during EU funds implementation and monitoring

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,

Eighty hectares of forest still standing in the lignite county of Gorj, court rules

Bucharest - Another environmental permit for the deforestation of 80 hectares of forest has been cancelled by a Bucharest court, following a Bankwatch Romania petition. The decision curtails plans to expand a lignite quarry in the Gorj county.

European Fund for Strategic Investments: Legal requirements to ensure additionality and added-value of EFSI operations

The first four projects that the European Investment Bank announced for financing under President Juncker’s EUR 315 billion investment initiative, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), reveal the structural inconsistencies of both the EFSI legal set-up and the EIB procedures themselves. For the time being there is no genuine guarantee about the additionality of EFSI financing and added-value to EU’s long-term economic development objectives, in particular the multiple dividends of a decarbonised and decentralised energy system with substantial energy savings at its heart.

Battles against cyanide continue in Romania

After the epic battle against the Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania ended in success, many people still don't know that Romania and other countries in the region such as Bulgaria are still threatened by several gold mining proposals, some of which would involve the use of cyanide leaching.

Parliament warns of risky financing, demands more accountability at Europe's bank

In its annual resolution on the European Investment Bank, Members of the European Parliament have criticised the bank’s Project Bond Initiative, warning that the risk-sharing instrument bears similarities to those proposed under the Juncker Investment Plan.

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