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Gaining control – an MEP toolkit to get the EIB on track

Counter Balance’s new guide for MEPs aims at having parliamentarians monitor the European Investment Bank more closely. The ‘EU Bank’ is the biggest public bank in the world. Last year it spent EUR 65 billion and it is at the heart of investment plans designed at EU level. The bigger the EIB grows, the more […]

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Counter Balance Activity Report 2015

2015 has been a productive year for the Counter Balance coalition. Read here about our achievements and our objectives! In the letter below our Director, Xavier Sol, outlines the main highlights of our work in 2015 and explains the challenges awaiting us in 2016. “Scrutinising European public investment banks and pushing for their reform is […]

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A High Risk Global Infrastructure Agenda: the Role of Multilateral Development Banks

Last but not least, the third of our series of papers on infrastructure megaprojects focuses on Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and their role in supporting the new global infrastructure agenda. As vast expenditures in infrastructure megaprojects are increasingly justified as a means to enhance the life of communities and stimulate economies, Multilateral Development Banks together […]

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A Growing Threat on Debt: the New Global Infrastructure Agenda

Here’s the second of our analysis papers on the new global infrastructure agenda, this time focusing on the debt risks linked to the current promotion of mega-corridors of large-scale infrastructure projects.   As the world economic crisis of 2008 pushed leaders to find renewed recipes for growth, jobs and prosperity, large infrastructure projects appeared as […]

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Danger Ahead: New Global Infrastructure Agenda Could Lock-in Fossil Fuel Technology

Promoted as a “magic bullet” that will lift our economies out of the economic crisis, infrastructure megaprojects are taking a more and more prominent role in the global development model. Governments and development banks financing dams, motorways, oil and gas pipelines are more committed than ever to filling in the supposed “infrastructure gap”. And the […]

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Counter Balance activity report 2014

Wondering what we have been up to last year? Read all about it in our 2014 activity report Our Director, Xavier Sol, outlines the most important things of last year and the main challenges for the next in his opening letter as a way of introduction. Being the only coalition fully dedicated to scrutinising public […]

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UPDATE 7: Juncker on the investment offensive … against Europeans, the economy and the environment

Labelled the €1.3 trillion investment offensive, more than 2000 projects have been identified by the European Commission’s new Task Force on Investment (made up of representatives of the EC, EIB and member states) for fast-tracked financing from President Juncker’s recently announced €315 billion stimulus plan. But far from being a series of economically credible, environmentally […]

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Where now for the Project Bonds Initiative?

As  the  pilot  phase  of  the  Project  Bond  Initiative  descends  into  acrimony  amid  the closure of its flagship pilot project, the recent downgrading of the Castor bonds to junk status and the Spanish government’s announcement that it expects to compensate investors  for  the  project,  it  is  hard  to  imagine  that  this  is  what  the  European […]

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Counter Balance activity report 2012-2013

Read our activity report 2012-2013 here. The opening letter by our director Xavier Sol as a way of introduction: Counter  Balance  is  a  network  in  motion.  Since  our foundation in 2007 we have moved from a NGO campaign challenging  the  European  Investment  Bank  (EIB),  to  an independent  organisation  working  in  the  wider  field  of European  […]

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The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain: the new energy policies of Europe’s public banks

The climate change threat intensified in 2013 with the latest United Nations climate report issuing yet more stark warnings of the inevitability of a 2°C rise in global temperatures by the end of the century. The year also saw almost simultaneous reviews to the energy lending policies of several international public development banks – the […]

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