On the occasion of its Board of Governors meeting on June 18, 2021, 24 civil society organisations call on the European Finance Ministers to reform the European Investment Bank (EIB). They urge the Ministers to fundamentally transform the bank and push the boundaries on all levels, from transparency to climate, from human rights to the fight against corruption.

The EIB’s Board of Governors is made up of the 27 Finance Ministers of the EU Member States. Together, they represent the bank’s shareholders and have a significant impact on the overall strategy of the bank and its investment policies. They only meet once a year, which makes the Board of Governors Meeting an important occasion.

Add on top that the discussions this year will center around the pivotal role that the bank is playing in both the European economic recovery package following the COVID-19 crisis and in financing the European Green Deal. And it's clear that there is no lack of essential debate to be had during this meeting. Both the COVID recovery plan and the Green Deal are of immense importance to the future of people in Europe and beyond.

The letter calls on the Finance Ministers to bring the bank onto a sustainable path and enhance its contribution to the transformation of European economy and society in the public interest.
Over the last decade, Counter Balance and its members have documented numerous problems in the EIB’s governance and operations, from a structural lack of transparency to poor due diligence over the Human Rights impacts of the projects it finances.

Xavier Sol, Director at Counter Balance, says “The EIB stands at a crossroads. Its growing macroeconomic power and responsibilities calls for a fundamental transformation of the institution. Without increased transparency and accountability towards citizens, the EIB simply won’t live up to its promises to become the EU Climate Bank and the EU Development Bank”.

The EIB still has a long way to go, but it has the capability to really become Europe’s Bank with a reinforced public mission. Its shareholders have the keys to unlocking its potential.

2021 Joint letter BOG title page

Joint letter to the Board of Governors