"It's not correct to conclude that projects the EIB finances are harmful for the environment," the bank's representative in Brussels, Dominique de Crayencour, told MEPs and NGO delegates at a hearing in the European Parliament today. Mr de Crayencour said all the projects it financed were assessed according to EU environmental impact assessment legislation and that all were approved by the European Commission.
"The bank can and does refuse projects that are not adequate," he said. "No projects with significant negative impacts on the environment will be financed." But Mr de Crayencour said NGO claims that its procedures lacked transparency might be justified. "We've not always been good [on this point], we agree, but we want to change and evolve," he said.
* Meanwhile, CEE Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth Europe have published a report criticising what they claim is a "serious lack of public participation" in the process of choosing environmental projects to benefit from pre-accession aid programmes funds run by the EU.
EIB, tel: +352 4379 3146. Hearing organised by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group of the European Parliament, tel: +32 2 284 2111. See also the CEE Bankwatch/FoEE report, Billions for Sustainability, and a press release.
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