EIB Makes Limited Changes in Second Draft of Policy

15 January 2015

The European Investment Bank has made a few improvements to a proposed revision of its Transparency Policy, but not addressed many of the concerns of public interest groups.

The EIB Board of Directors is expected to discuss the revised policy in its meeting on 3 February 2015. The EIB recently issued a revised draft, a consultation report and an issues matrix with EIB responses to specific comments.

One change for the better, in the view of critics, is that removal of a qualifier regarding the policy’s general “presumption of disclosure.” The term “whenever possible” has been taken out.

The EIB also seems to have followed the October suggestion of EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly regarding the so-called administrative tasks language. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.). (Also see previous report on civil society comments on the draft policy.)

In December, the ombudsman recommended that the EIB release a redacted version of a report concerning a mine in Zambia. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Although the Bank’s Complaints Mechanism recommended that it be published in redacted form, but the Bank rejected that advice, saying it was not a covered “administrative task.” (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

The second draft, however, contains limited change or no change on a variety of other issues.

The language on a public register of documents is less specific than suggested by the ombudsman.

No improvement is made concerning the very limited transparency of financial intermediaries.

The exceptions for internal documents was only modified by taking “compliance due diligence” out of the documents to be excepted.

Critics also are also questioning the handling of project documents.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

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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