In recent weeks, the European Commission has presented an overarching European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS) aimed at strengthening Europe's military-industrial complex in the face of global competition, conflict and market opportunities.

The EIB, as the EU's lending institution, finds itself caught up in new political debates amid calls for increased defence industry spending.

The EIB is preparing to present a plan to expand its investment scope beyond the existing dual-use definition, and potentially reviewing its exclusion list currently preventing finance of military purpose goods like weapons and ammunition. The move will come in the aftermath of the last EUCO (21-22 March) to set top political priorities for the next three months.

In this light, 30 CSOs urge the European Investment Bank to resist calls for an increased support to the defence sector.

It is crucial that the EIB acts on its core public policy objectives of financing climate action, environmental sustainability, and economic and social cohesion. The Bank must prioritise lending to projects that benefit the environment and society, addressing the cost of living crisis and the climate emergency. It must reject any attempts to increase funding to the military-industrial complex.

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Urgent call to keep defence spending out of the EIB's scope

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