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The European Investment Bank

by admin — last modified Apr 20, 2007 12:50 PM
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The European Investment Bank is a public bank that many have not heard of, though this is slowly changing. Each year the EIB lends far more than the better-known World Bank. The EIB finances projects in environmentally and socially sensitive areas like fossil fuels and transport, without the clear guidelines or standards used by other banks.


Established in 1958 as the funding arm of the then European Economic Community the European Investment Bank was set up to finance physical infrastructure linking the national economies of the member countries, and to provide investment in less-developed regions.

Now the EIB's total lending is more than 40 billion a year and the bank finances projects outside the European Union: in South Africa, Asia, South and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The EIB finances, the environment pays the price !

The EIB's legal status remains unclear. It is bound by EU legislation, but not for its projects in borrowing countries like Chad or Cameroon.

The EIB employs only one environmental expert and the Board meets 10 times a year, approving 30 or more projects in a one day session.

The Bank hardly spends any time monitoring those projects. As the EIB communications department said: 'You can't monitor hundreds of thousands of projects and remain economic. We just don't have the staff. There would cease to be a point to the EIB.'

Friends of the Earth International wants the world to know about the institution. It urges the Bank to become publicly accountable and responsible and to serve people and the environment.

There is an urgent need for fundamental reforms in:

  • public access to information;
  • environmental guidelines;
  • recognition of a development mandate;
  • supervision and accountability.

This campaign is coordinated by Friends of the Earth International and the CEE Bankwatch Network and supported by more than 30 NGOs from all over Europe.

find out more


* October 2005: eib poster contest

A poster exhibition calling for profound changes within the European Investment Bank (EIB) greeted participants at the EIB’s Annual Meeting in Helsinki in October.

Activists from Friends of the Earth Finland and CEE Bankwatch Network, who organized the exhibition of posters designed by Central and Eastern European artists, called for long overdue institutional innovation within the EIB.

* eib's investments outside the european union revealed
Friends of the Earth International, the CEE Bankwatch Network and Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale have launched a new tool for exposing the activities of the European Investment Bank (EIB), because the EIB, the house bank of the European Union, remains one of the most secretive international financial institutions. The new web-based database describes all projects financed by the EIB in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean from 1994-2004.

read the new publication :  the european investment bank in the south in whose interest?
foei, bankwatch, weed, crbm 2006
read as pdf

Invisible Hands:
New film reveals Europe's hidden financial powerhouse

check out our new campaign – EIB: Public Funds for Public Benefits launched at the EIB Annual Meeting June 2nd 2005

fact sheets on the eib
EIB Annual meeting 2nd June 2004

briefing: undermining lives in laos
objections to the sepon project 2 copper mine expansion of oxiana ltd in lao pdr

something smells around here …european investment bank ignores right to know

June 3rd 2003 action at EIB annual meeting : Monkey Business at the EIB- More transparency is essential!

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