In the latest Board of Governors meeting, the EIB approved its Strategic Roadmap 2024-2027, including an expansion into financing the defence industry. This decision, made without consulting civil society, labour unions, or parliaments, sidelines pressing global challenges like climate change and public sector underinvestment.

Strategic decisions for the EU's main public bank must be made democratically. Increasing lending capacity should fund beneficial projects, not support geopolitical competition, private profits, and the military industry, which contradict the EIB's public mandate and the EU's objectives.

Research by Pax and Profundo shows the EIB financed companies delivering weapons to Israel, violating international law. This includes EUR 1.23 billion in loans to Leonardo and Rolls-Royce and financing BNP Paribas, which heavily invests in military equipment for Israel. The EIB's actions risk complicity in war crimes committed in Gaza. Instead of aligning its lending policy with international law, the EIB's Strategic Roadmap 2024-2027 expands military lending and alters the dual-use requirement definition, allowing projects to primarily generate revenue from military use.

To address these issues, Counter Balance and other 21 CSOs urge the EIB to review its financing portfolio, stop loans to companies selling military equipment to Israel, and reassess its lending practices to ensure they align with international law. Additionally, the EIB should reverse its defence industry lending expansion and focus on projects that are environmentally and socially beneficial, addressing public needs and development objectives.

The EIB must align with international law and its public mandate to promote a fair, equitable, sustainable, and peaceful future. We stress the urgent need for the EIB to reflect its public mandate at the core of its operations and steer our economies towards a fairer and more sustainable path.

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Joint letter to the EIB's Board of Governors and Board of Directors

Read here