New report analyses “corrupt but legal” practices in development finance

Brussels, 9 December 2016 Is corruption defined solely within the boundaries of what is legal? Is the deterioration of our democratic societies limited to officially acknowledged crimes such as bribes, money laundering and fraud? The answer is no, according to Counter Balance’s latest analysis “Corrupt but legal” published today, on the occasion of the International […]

Read more

New Report: Going abroad – A critique of the EIB’s External Lending Mandate

November 16, 2016 Brussels, Prague The EIB is increasingly given a prominent role in the EU’s response to the so-called refugee crisis stretching the bank’s operations well beyond the its current mandate for overseas investments. Yet, a new report by Counter Balance and CEE Bankwatch Network takes a closer look at projects the EU’s house […]

Read more

REPORT: The best laid plans: why the Investment Plan for Europe does not drive the sustainable energy transition

by Markus Trilling, EU funds campaign coordinator at CEE Bankwatch If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t – a thought that inevitably comes to mind seeing the European Commission and the European Investment Bank congratulating themselves for the great job they’ve done. One and a half years after the launch of […]

Read more

Question marks abound over EU-Azerbaijan gas tango

By Anna Roggenbuck, originally published by Bankwatch Ministers, ambassadors and envoys from at least 15 countries, including Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Vice President for the Energy Union, are gathered today in the Azerbaijani capital to discuss the progress on the Southern Gas Corridor, the largest energy project the EU is currently pursuing. But over […]

Read more

Trans-Adriatic Pipeline a major risk for banks, warns new analysis

Brussels, Belgium — An analysis published today by the finance watchdog groups Counter Balance and BankTrack has warned potential commercial bank investors to steer clear of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) owing to the project’s non-compliance with the Equator Principles, a set of risk management guidelines for project finance adopted by 89 commercial banks around the […]

Read more

European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards

Counter Balance supports the European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards, launched by CAN Europe. Most governments don’t like to talk about the fact that they are giving money to fossil fuels, and in some cases they do what they can to hide them. It is simply unfair to European citizens to keep these subsidies in the […]

Read more

The NGOs’ point of view presented to the EIB Board of Directors

Human rights, climate, accountability. These are the main areas needing urgent improvement in the EU’s bank activities, flagged NGOs to the EIB Board of Directors last Monday 30th January, on the occasion of the traditional annual meeting with civil society. There, the Counter Balance coalition did not miss the chance to raise the most urgent […]

Read more

Turkish gas companies with corrupt past get World Bank loan

Originally published on Climate Home. Businessmen who have secured contracts to build massive gas pipeline linking EU and Azerbaijan were convicted for tender rigging and bribery. By Karl Mathiesen The World Bank has approved $800m in loans for a gas pipeline through Turkey and Azerbaijan that will be built by several companies with a history of corruption scandals. […]

Read more

Bratislava Bypass, flagship EFSI failure: non-transparent decisions for dubious public benefit – New report

  A EUR 1.76 billion-worth project guaranteed through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)i, the Bratislava Bypass is a public-private partnership (PPP) supported by the Slovak government and promoted as the biggest EFSI project in Central Eastern Europe. Yet, preferred by the government to greener and more effective solutions to the traffic problems of […]

Read more