LUXEMBOURG – Civil society activists from across Europe today issued brooms to EIB Governors arriving for the Bank’s Annual Meeting in Luxembourg. The Governors, the finance ministers of the 25 EU member states, were invited to clean up the mess at the EIB and to start the reform of a powerful but secretive European institution. Luxembourg’s Governor to the EIB, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, responded positively to a demonstrator’s demands that the EIB should base its operations on sustainable criteria. “I agree with you,” he said.
Today’s annual meeting, the first since EU enlargement, welcomed the ten new members of the EU as new shareholders of the EIB. However, the cause for celebration was not shared by campaigners who marked the occasion with the launch of a new campaign “Public Funds for Public Benefit: Making the European Investment Bank support people and the environment”. The campaign is supported by over fifty national and international civil society groups.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, leading the EIB reform campaign for CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth International, commented, “Power combined with secretiveness is completely out of tune with modern institutional practice. The EIB needs to urgently clean up its act and the arrival of Governors from the new member states provides an ideal opportunity for meaningful reform to take place. On institutional transparency, access to information and other areas we are making realistic recommendations that can only improve how the EIB operates.”
The new NGO campaign also calls on the EIB to implement a development mandate based on sound safeguard policies for lending outside the EU, environmentally sound sectoral policies for lending, the creation of a complaints mechanism for affected citizens, effective measures to combat corruption and money laundering a socially and politically sustainable private sector lending strategy.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Magda Stoczkiewicz, CEE Bankwatch/Friends of the Earth International, +31 652 41 03 23
Martin Koehler, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale, + 32 478 309894
Greig Aitken, CEE Bankwatch Network, + 420 605 216 705