The European Investment Bank has been involved in a number of large dam projects in recent years, many of them in Africa. All could have been improved – sometimes significantly so – by more careful planning and better implementation standards. Despite making vague references to the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams, the EIB currently has no sector policy for dams. Many of the EIB’s large dam projects have also had World Bank involvement, and the World Bank’s standards and due diligence drove the process, with the EIB bringing little or no 'added value' regarding safeguard policies or improved planning processes.
This report describes the problems with past EIB dam projects, how the WCD might have been invoked to bring 'added value' to the process, and ways forward to improve the EIB’s role in water and energy projects in future.