Re:Common and Counter Balance have written to the European Investment Bank (EIB) President and Directors to notify the bank of the latest developments regarding the trial for corruption that just ended in Italy in relation to the MOSE project.
MOSE is a major infrastructure project in Italy which received financial support from the EIB for about EUR 1,2 billion between 2011 and 2013. But the project stands at the core of a serious corruption scandal – the so-called „Veneto System“ involving the EIB client (Consorzio Venezia Nuova) for those loans.
In our letter, we also ask the Bank what investigations it has undertaken concerning the potential mismanagement of EIB funds in this project, and what steps the EIB is considering now that evidence of corruption is in the public domain. In this regard, we expect the bank to seriouly put in practice its stated “zero tolerance towards fraud and corruption policy”.
As NGOs whose mission is to make public banks more open, transparent, accountable and sustainable institutions, Re:Common and Counter Balance have been monitoring a series of infrastructure projects under corruption investigations in Italy that have been financed either by the EIB or the EU regional funds. We documented the stories of controversial projects such as MOSE or Passante di Mestre in the reports "Italian Malaffare – European Money“ and "Highway to Hell“. The EIB’s involvement in these projects despite official legal investigations and warnings by civil society organisations and the European Parliament, seems to stand in sharp contrast to the “zero-tolerance to corruption” principles it claims to follow.
Read the full letter below.