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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.

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.

Europe's back is to the future: Bankwatch and Counter Balance statement on the first projects of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)

Yesterday the European Investment Bank announced the first four projects to be financed from the EUR 315 billion EFSI. These include EUR 303 million for health care research in Spain, a public-private partnership in the Irish health sector, the expansion of the Dubrovnik airport in Croatia and a nineteenth century Italian steel factory.

Tax dodging, development and European public banks

A new report highlights how the weak taxation policy of the European Investment Bank is undermining its ability to serve public interest in Europe and the Global South at a time when the use of tax haven is exposed as one of the most important barriers to development.

Guest post: Ombla must be protected, not flooded!

The project promoter of the Ombla hydropower plant in Dubrovnik, Croatia is still stubbornly pushing the project forward. A presentation yesterday of a new nature impact assessment did not offer answers to a range of outstanding questions, including the project's economic feasibility, impacts on locals and more.

"Fight tax havens, start with the European Investment Bank", argues new report

Counter Balance & Re:Common press release

The European Investment Bank (EIB) was the first Development Financial Institution (DFI) to adopt a tax haven policy in 2009. However, more than five years on EIB money still runs via tax havens. A new report by Counter Balance and Re:Common* ‘Towards a Responsible Taxation Policy for the EIB’ which is launched today calls on the EU’s public bank to grasp the political momentum at EU level to prevent any public money from flowing through tax havens. Country by country reporting, identification of beneficial ownership and a workable list of non-compliant jurisdictions would be key ingredients of a real “Responsible Taxation Policy”.

Parliament presses for more scrutiny of EU Investment Plan but guts green prospects

BRUSSELS - MEPs ditch ring fencing for energy savings but demand more democratic oversight over the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that has been setup to implement Commission President Juncker’s economic recovery plan.

Statement on the European Parliament ITRE Committee vote

CEE Bankwatch Network, Friends of the Earth Europe and Counter Balance welcome yesterday’s vote to earmark EUR 5 billion for energy savings projects across Europe by the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE). The funds were allocated via an amendment to the European Fund for Strategic Investment regulation proposed by Commission president Juncker in December 2014. The vote also requires that any energy infrastructure project financed from the EUR 315 billion investment plan be in line with Europe’s long term energy and climate targets for 2050.

Local initiatives champion sustainability and resilience in central and eastern Europe

A new website with inspiring stories of local sustainable initiatives shows the very real change that small-scale projects can make for local communities.

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