In this new episode of EU Watchdog Radio, we take a closer look at the European Green Deal (EGD) and in particular how it is being financed. Counter Balance released their latest report on October 20, 2021. In “The European Green Deal: Reclaiming Public Investments for a real Socio-ecological Transformation” Counter Balance shows that the financial basis of the EGD is undersized and wobbly at best.

In this episode we talk to Xavier Sol, Director of Counter Balance about the main findings of the report.

There are three main issues plaguing the financial basis of the EGD. The €1 trillion investment package that’s supposed to finance the EGD - the so-called “Sustainable Europe Investment Plan” (SEIP) is merely a political announcement and does not reflect what the EU will actually invest. Most of the instruments under the SEIP are simply the continuation of already existing investment programmes, there is only limited new or fresh money under it.

Then there is the strong bias in favour of the private and financial sector. The focus on bankable projects and leveraging private resources has come at the expense of playing a stronger role in furthering transformative policy orientations. The approach of turning projects into bankable ones ignores the fact that a majority of the needs for ecological transition will simply not be bankable and offer any return on investment. The sustainable finance agenda associated with the SEIP also risks to reinforce the financialisation of our economies, at the expense of the real economy.

And thirdly, there are major challenges in terms of accountability and transparency. Looking at how the InvestEU programme and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will operate under the SEIP, it is clear that decisions about loans and various financial instruments are unlikely to be taken in a transparent, accountable and participatory manner. Corruption, fraud and misuse of funds are also a matter of concern that largely remain unaddressed.

In response to these criticisms, the report lays out a tentative proposal for another approach to EU public investments and the financing of the EGD.

Who we are

Both CEO and Counter Balance raise awareness on the importance of good governance in the European Union, by researching issues like lobbying of large and powerful industries, corporate capture of decision making, corruption, fraud, human rights violations in areas like agro-business, biotech & chemical companies, the financial sector & public investment banks, trade, energy & climate, scientific research and much more...

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