On Monday night a video was projected on the building of the European Parliament which denounced the unsustainable energy portfolio of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The 30 second video concluded with: “Make the EIB chose a brighter future before increasing its capital”, a message for EIB governors which gather Tuesday 15 May in Brussels during the bank’s Annual General Meeting. The main topic will be a possible capital increase of the EIB.

“Under the current conditions the EIB is not ready for a capital increase”, says Anna Roggenbuck, EIB coordinator for CEE Bankwatch Network. “The bank should play a role in supporting environmental sustainability. Yet, in 2010 the EIB gave loans for EUR 5 billion to fossil fuel projects. This number is still on the rise. A capital increase allowing the bank to do more will only reinforce this trend”, Roggenbuck concludes.

Berber Verpoest, Counter Balance: “This video is meant to be an eye-opener for EIB governors (mostly the Ministers of Finance of the member states) and other EU policy makers. In order to offer a long term solution to the crisis European citizens are currently facing, EIB backed projects should be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Right now this is not the case. Before talking about quantity, EIB governors should be discussing how the quality of EIB lending can be improved.”

The video has been projected on the European parliament at Place Luxembourg at 10 PM on May 14. This action is an initiative of Counter Balance which monitors the operations of the EIB.

Tomorrow on May 15, a press conference will be organised where we will explain in more detail our reluctance to a possible capital increase of the EIB and the need for more sustainable lending.