EIB President Proposes Transparency, Governance Improvements

7 June 2004

European Investment Bank President, Philippe Maystadt, June 2 proposed to publish some additional information about EIB operations and the financial interests of key EIB officials.

The proposals made at the Bank’s annual meeting, include, according to Maystadt’s statement:

  • An annual corporate governance statement, including any report of the ad-hoc ethics committee;
  • The publication of half-yearly summary EIB accounts as from 2005;
  • The extension of the Compliance function in the Bank in order to monitor all rules, and codes of conduct;
  • A declaration of financial interests by the Management Committee members, on the model of what is in force for the Members of the European Commission;
  • More transparent information on remuneration and other benefits for governing bodies and staff, in particular concerning senior management;
  • Publication of additional information concerning control and evaluation procedures at the Bank, as well as operational activities.

Maystadt’s statement to Governors is available at: http://www.eib.org/Attachments/general/events/sp_bg2004_en.pdf

The proposals will go to the Management Committee first, and then to the Board of Directors.

The Bank’s press release on the meeting also indicated that some changes may be made in the procedures for assessing projects to ensure that they comport with European Union policies. The Bank describes its support for EU policies as resting on three pillars: "the specific contribution of projects financed to EU policies; the quality and soundness of each project; and the particular financial benefits obtained by the use of EIB funds.

The president "proposed to the Governors an original system whereby decision-making for each project will include a more precise assessment of the project’s merits in terms of value added in relation to each of the three pillars. This system will be used for appraising projects as well as for the ex-post evaluation of projects financed."

Maystadt touched on Bank governance issues as part of a wider priority list, basically reviewing current policies. Concerning transparency, the press release stated: "The Bank also continuously reviews its approach to transparency. It already publishes a great deal of information on its website and further proposals in this regard are under discussion within the Board of Directors."

By Toby McIntosh

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ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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