This summary report of this roundtable is provided by the organizer Counter Balance. The opinions ex-pressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants in the roundtable.
On March 3rd, 2020, 65 participants joined the roundtable on the State of Play and Future Challenges for the European Investment Bank (EIB). This interactive event gathered both officials from European Institutions, the EIB and Ministries as well as members of civil society (NGOs, trade unions and think tanks) who discussed numerous topics including:
- The future role of the EIB under the next EU budget 2021-2027;
- The transformation of the EIB into the ‘EU Climate Bank’ and its pivotal role in the European Green Deal;
- The plans for the EIB to set up a subsidiary for its operations outside of the EU as part of the broader discussion on the future of the European development finance architecture;
- Lessons learnt from civil society campaigns on the EIB;
- Avenues for reforms to enhance the transparency, accountability and sustainability of the EIB.
From the inputs from speakers and discussions with participants, it emerged that a lot of developments took place on the EIB front since a decade. In particular, the counter-cyclical role of the EIB following the financial crisis was highlighted, as well as the enhanced role of the EIB following its capital increase and its role in the Juncker Plan since 2015.
On the one hand, many participants highlighted the progress made on the EIB front to better engage with civil society and raise its accountability towards the European Parliament for instance. A case in point relates to the forward-looking energy policy approved by the bank in November 2019 together with ambitions climate commitments such as aligning all its operations with the objectives of the Paris Agreement by the end of 2020.
On the other hand, there is still room for improvements to enhance the positive role played by the EIB. Participants highlighted the need for the EIB to deliver soon on its climate commitments, as well as to raise the bar on the protection of Human Rights, the fight against fraud and corruption and a more pro-active stance on transparency.