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EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK

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EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK

  1. 1. PUBLIC DISCLOSURE POLICY DRAFT II 20 October 2005 (Work in progress) 1
  2. 2. CONTENTS I. Introduction 3 II. Policy principles 3 • EIB principles of transparency • The EIB Public Disclosure Policy • The European Investment Fund III. Policy framework 5 • EU institutional set-up • Working with banking and financial sectors • Policy enforcement and evaluation IV. Disclosure of information 6 Project-related information • Project List (Pipeline) • Confidential business information (Box) • Project Summaries • Other project details • Project documents (Box) • Global loans • Evaluation Reports Borrowing-related information Governance • Provisions for complaints ANNEX I - Rules on Public Access to Documents 10 ANNEX II - Sources of EIB information 13 • Website • InfoDesk • Key publications • Borrowing activity • Lending activity • Relations with the press and other news media • Civil society relations • Conferences and exhibitions • Audio-visual materials and library facilities • EIB historical archives • Languages • Contacts 2
  3. 3. I. Introduction 1. Improvement in the transparency of its institutions, is a key European Union policy aimed at bringing them closer to the publics they serve, highlighting their relevance in contributing to Europe’s social and economic cohesion and sustainable development. The European Parliament, Council and Commission have called on all the institutions and bodies of the European Union to adopt rules on public access documents that take into account the * principles and limits laid down in the Regulation 1049/2001. 2. The European Investment Bank, as the European Union’s principal lending body, is committed to achieving the highest possible level of transparency in all its activities. Ensuring transparency is therefore a core EIB objective in the Bank’s rolling three-year Corporate Operational Plan. The EIB’s Public Disclosure Policy forms a crucial reference for implementing this transparency policy. 3. As a public institution, openness and transparency on how the Bank makes decisions, works and implements EU policies, strengthen its credibility and its accountability to Europe’s citizens. II. Policy principles EIB principles of transparency 4. The European Investment Bank’s Public Disclosure Policy is founded on a presumption of disclosure of information. All information held by the Bank is subject to disclosure upon request, unless there is a compelling reason for non-disclosure. 5. Exceptions to disclosure are covered by the Bank’s “Rules on Public Access to Documents” (Annex I below). 6. When considering a request for information, the Bank does not discriminate or give special privileged access to information. As an EU body it applies equal treatment towards enquiries from the public, whether from individual citizens and legal persons or special interest groups. 7. The framework for application of these principles is set out in two documents: “Rules on Public Access to Documents” - part of the Public Disclosure Policy - and the “Code of Good Administrative Behaviour for the staff of the European Investment Bank in its relations with the public”. The Code of Good Administrative Behaviour sets out the standards, which the public is entitled to expect when requesting information or documents. 8. The EIB believes that openness and transparency help promote public confidence in its activities and decision-making processes. They also contribute to increasing the efficiency and sustainability of its operations, reducing the risks of corruption, and enhancing staff relations with external stakeholders. 9. The EIB’s “Statement on Corporate Social Responsibility” explains that in its financing operations the Bank gives recognition to the rights, interests and responsibilities of stakeholders to achieve sustainable outcomes. 10. The “Guidelines on Fighting Corruption and Fraud” bring together the main elements of the Bank’s approach to fighting corruption, drawing on the Bank’s Codes of Conduct, Guide to Procurement, and internal guidelines and charters, including conditions introduced into its finance contracts. This also provides for the fair treatment and protection of “whistleblowers”. * The European Parliament and Council have adopted Regulation No. 1049/2001 to give the public the fullest rights to access documents of the Parliament, Council and Commission. 3
  4. 4. 11. The EIB is fully committed to transparency towards capital markets. The EIB’s disclosure requirements and limitations, vary depending on the legal and regulatory regimes of markets where the Bank’s securities are offered. The Bank seeks to avoid selective disclosure to ensure all parties have a fair access to its information. The EIB Public Disclosure Policy 12. The Public Disclosure Policy provides a framework for making the Bank’s activities more visible and accessible. The Bank regards the Public Disclosure Policy as an evolving and flexible instrument, subject to a continuous process of internal evaluation and quality assessment and responsive to public comment. 13. The EIB first published an “Information Policy” in June 1997, which was revised in October 2002. Since then the Bank has widened the policy’s focus and content and increased its openness, as outlined in the Transparency Policy approved by its Board of Directors and published in June 2004. 14. A second review of what is now known as the EIB Public Disclosure Policy, in 2005, was subject to public consultation, allowing stakeholders to submit comments through a web-based consultation and at workshops. The EIB also maintains a dedicated mailbox on its website (infopol@eib.org) to receive comments throughout the year. Formal reviews of the policy will take place on a three-year basis. 15. In addition, the EIB continuously reviews legal and regulatory disclosure requirements applicable to the international capital markets. 16. The Public Disclosure Policy is outlined in three sections and two annexes: o Policy principles o Policy framework o Disclosure of information o Annex I: “Rules on Public Access to Documents” o Annex II: Sources of information on the EIB 17. The Public Disclosure Policy is one of many policies and codes that have been drawn up to cover all aspects of EIB activities. Of particular relevance when considering the Policy are those covering the management of environmental and social issues, corporate social responsibility, and issues of governance, such as anti-corruption and fraud. They can all be found on the EIB website. The European Investment Fund 18. The general policy principles apply to the whole EIB Group, which consists of the EIB and the “European Investment Fund” (www.eif.org). The EIF is the Group’s venture capital and small and medium sized enterprise guarantee vehicle. As the EIB and EIF have different tasks and products, there are differences in the detailed application of public access to information. To avoid confusion specific rules on public access to EIF documents are drawn up and published separately. “Rules on Public Access to Documents” 19. As soon as the “European Parliament and Council Regulation on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision- making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to EC institutions and bodies” will be adopted by the EU’s legislators, the EIB Rules on Public Access to Documents will be reviewed. 4
  5. 5. III. Policy framework EU institutional set-up 20. The EIB’s Statute, defining the Bank’s role, scope of activities and its governance structures, is a Protocol attached to the Treaty of Rome. The Statute establishes the EU Member States as the EIB’s shareholders. Through the EU governments, the Bank is accountable to EU citizens. The Member States are represented on the Bank’s principal decision-making bodies, the Board of Governors, Board of Directors and the Management Committee. The Bank also has an extensive control and accounting structure with an independent Audit Committee appointed by and reporting directly to the Board of Governors, as well as international external auditors, internal audit and evaluation functions under the Inspector General, and the Group Chief Compliance Officer. 21. The EIB is policy-driven, continuously adapting its activity to EU policy development. The European Council and the EU Council of Ministers regularly call on the Bank to support new EU policies and initiatives. The EIB’s Board of Governors adapts EIB lending policies by adopting new credit directives and opening up new areas of activities for the Bank in support of EU policies. 22. The Bank ensures that its activities support the implementation of EU policies and laws. Examples relevant for its Public Disclosure Policy, include EU decisions on environmental issues such as Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), human rights, democracy, and rule of law in countries and regions in which the Bank operates, to help meet the challenges of achieving sustainable development. 23. The EIB has close institutional and operational links with the European Commission. Under the terms of the EIB Statute, the Commission nominates a Member to the Bank’s Board of Directors. All applications for loans are submitted to the Commission for an opinion on the investment’s conformity with EU policies, before financing approval by the Board of Directors. 24. The Bank has also close relationships with other EU institutions. The EIB maintains a regular dialogue with the European Parliament on the Bank’s activities in support of EU objectives. This dialogue ranges from addressing plenary sessions to briefings for committees and individual Members of Parliament. 25. In addition, the Bank is forging closer links with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The EU Treaty of Nice (2000) reinforced the EESC’s role, which includes acting as an interface between the EU institutions and civil society. As part of the EU institutional framework, the Bank is subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU. The European Court of Auditors examines the use of EU funds managed by the Bank. The EIB works closely with OLAF (the European Anti-Fraud Office), and is subject to the remit of the European Ombudsman. Working with banking and financial sectors 26. The EIB has a legal obligation to respect business confidentiality. The EU Treaty and the Bank’s Statute provide the EIB with operational and financial autonomy to enable it to perform effectively as a financial institution. 27. The EIB is an important partner in the financial sector, especially when borrowing on the capital markets and financing projects. In conducting its business operations, it is natural that the EIB must ensure mutual trust in its activities by respecting banking secrecy and the confidentiality of market sensitive information in compliance with European and national regulations and banking sector standards. 28. The EIB uses the policies and legislation of the EU as the best reference available for measuring most of its activities. In its day-to-day operations it takes into account other standards and practices applied by the banking and financial community, particularly where these are not covered directly by EU law. 5
  6. 6. 29. In the area of transparency, the Bank also uses as a reference international developments, in particular those of the International Financing Institutions and Multilateral Development Banks. These are important partners for the EIB, in particular when it operates in the framework of the development aid and external co-operation policies of the EU. 30. This current Public Disclosure Policy establishes a balance between the Bank’s duty to protect business confidentiality with its commitment to transparency. Reasons for protecting confidentiality of information are set out in Article 4 of the “Rules on Public Access to Documents”. A non-exhaustive list of categories of documents that cannot be released for reasons of confidentiality are listed in a Box below. Policy enforcement and evaluation 31. The public can follow the extent to which the EIB achieves its objectives in areas such as transparency in its strategic “Corporate Operation Plan” (COP). (http://www.eib.org/about/objective/) as well as in other key documents such as the EIB Annual Report and the annual Corporate Governance Statement (see Annex II Sources of information on the EIB). 32. As staff support and commitment is indispensable for the successful implementation of its transparency policy, the Bank runs awareness-building sessions for staff members on transparency and disclosure issues, dialogue with stakeholders, Corporate Social Responsibility and other related topics, as part of its wider training programme. 33. The EIB will open up further public consultation on selected policies, essentially through the website (Transparency Policy report, June 2004). The public has been consulted in the latest review and contributions are reflected in this current EIB Public Disclosure Policy. IV. Disclosure of information 34. This section deals with disclosure of information in areas of EIB lending and borrowing activities based on the above principles. Most EIB policies and strategies are regularly published on its website. Project-related information 35. The Bank disseminates a wide variety of information about its business operations. Key project related information sources include the Annual Report and its Activity Report, Project Summaries, project information provided on request, Evaluation Reports, and press releases. 36. Project List (Pipeline) The Bank publishes advance information on projects it considers for financing in the form of a Project List and associated Project Summaries on its website. Projects are introduced onto the list before consideration by the EIB’s Board of Directors, unless compelling reasons would justify a later release. 37. The “trigger point” for posting a Project Summary is when the Bank requests the opinions of the Member State(s) concerned and the European Commission, as required under Article 21 of the EIB Statute. This is considered to be the most suitable point for the first public official statement that the Bank has reached a sufficiently advanced stage in discussions with a project promoter to be reasonably confident of a loan proposal going to the Board of Directors. The Board’s approval gives EIB staff the go-ahead for further talks with the promoter and other parties. The Bank’s commitment to financing the project in question comes only with the signing of the Finance Contract. 6
  7. 7. 38. The Project List contains all public sector projects irrespective of their geographical location, all projects for which calls for tender have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union or where an EIA is required according to EIB policy. In the case of private sector projects within the EU that require an EIA, the Bank's Management Committee may, in exceptional cases, decide on non-disclosure prior to approval by the Board of Directors, where such an announcement may adversely affect the promoter's operations. 39. Confidential business information Reasons for exceptions to disclosure of information are explicit and explained in the Bank’s “Rules on Public Access to Documents”. Examples of the main kind of information on projects held in EIB files that, in whole or in part, have to be kept confidential include: o Correspondence with promoters, borrowers, co-financing institutions within the (pre-) appraisal and negotiation process o Financing and guarantee contracts and related correspondence o Legal opinions o Financial information on promoters, borrowers and co-financing parties o EIB’s internal analysis and comments on such data o Procurement documents. Project Summaries 40. Project Summaries include the name of the project; the project promoter or financial intermediary (for global loans); the location of the project; the sector it represents; a project description; its objective(s); its environmental and, if appropriate, social aspects; procurement data; proposed EIB finance; the total project cost; and the status of the project (“under appraisal”, “approved” or “signed”). Projects remain on the list for six months following signature. 41. If applicable, the Project Summary includes either an electronic version or links to the Non- Technical Summary (NTS) of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and, outside the EU, the NTS along with the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIB also provides links to relevant procurement notices. Other project details 42. The EIB will provide details, on request, on public sector projects after approval for financing by the Board of Directors. This will be based on non-confidential information in the Board Project Report. For private sector projects, information from the Board Project Report will not be made available. However, the Bank will consider providing further information, where possible, in response to specific questions. 43. On request the Bank will release information from its own environmental and social impact appraisal reports, as well as from mission reports. 44. In cases where projects raise considerable public interest, the EIB may publish further project details on its website in the section “Topical Project Briefs”. 45. The EIB issues press releases on newsworthy projects, usually at the time of loan signature. The brochure “Projects financed and statistics”, which is published as part of the EIB’s Annual Report, provides a comprehensive set of data on projects financed by the Bank. This includes 7
  8. 8. country lists of finance contracts signed and statistical lending breakdowns by country, region, EU objective, and sector. 46. Project documents Each project generates its own unique collection of documentation and communications. Certain key stages within the life cycle of a project at the Bank can however be distinguished when essential information is collected and evaluated. The Bank’s appraisal process may generate the following internal confidential documents that play a key role in its internal decision making: o Project Information Note o Proposal to authorise appraisal o Request for Opinion of European Commission and EU Member State(s) o European Commission’s opinion o Member State(s)’ opinion o Proposal to negotiate the operation, including opinions from EIB’s various services o Board Project Report Then there are documents forming part of the confidential relationship with its clients, for example: o Formal financing request from the project promoter o Finance Contract. The Bank does not object in principle to project promoters, borrowers, or other competent parties making information available on their relationship and arrangements with the Bank. Business partners are also made aware at an early stage in discussions of the EIB’s Public Disclosure Policy. Global loans 47. Global loan operations are published on the Project List on the Bank’s website. In addition, the Bank releases, on request, aggregate data on global loan financing, including country and sector breakdowns. Information on individual global loan allocations is the competence of the intermediary bank, as this falls within the normal business relationship between a bank and its customers. The EIB has no objection to the intermediary bank making available information covering its relationship with the Bank. (The EIB has no contractual relationship with final beneficiaries of global loans. The intermediary bank is the beneficiary’s business partner, carrying the project’s commercial risks and signing the financing contract). Evaluation Reports 48. Operations Evaluation activities are carried out within the Inspector General’s Department. Operations Evaluation prepares independent ex-post thematic, sector and regional/country evaluations of EIB’s financing operations. These are published on the Website after discussion by the Board of Directors. Borrowing-related information 49. Information on the EIB’s approach to borrowing activities is outlined in the Bank’s Corporate Operational Plan, which also indicates expected funding volume. 50. Information on public bond issuance is disclosed through the main news channels (e.g. Bloomberg, Reuters). Documentation (Offering Circulars, Prospectus and/or Programmes) for public bond issues is available upon request. Publicity is restricted for Private issuance for confidentiality reasons. Information on the main communication means for the Bank’s activities on capital markets can be found in Annex II. 51. Disclosures on EIB borrowing activities are also routinely made by financial intermediaries. Governance 8
  9. 9. 52. The Bank publishes on its website all Codes of Conduct applicable to the Board of Directors, the Management Committee and the Audit Committee. The Bank also publishes detailed information on the remunerations and other benefits applicable to the members of the decision- making bodies – and supervisory bodies as well as staff. 53. The members of the Board of Directors sign a personal statement on the other offices or positions they hold, which are published on the EIB website. Details of abstentions from voting in cases of conflict of interest are made public as well. An annual calendar of Board meetings is available on the Bank’s website. The agenda of the Board’s monthly meeting, their minutes and voting records are confidential as provided for by the “Rules on Public Access to Documents”. 54. The members of the Management Committee sign a declaration of financial interests similar to that applicable to members of the European Commission. Their declarations are posted on the Bank’s website. 55. A Group Chief Compliance Officer ensures observance of the Bank’s statutory provisions, applicable rules, Codes of Conduct and professional standards, to prevent risks that might arise through failures by the Bank, its decision-making bodies or members of staff, in the discharge of their obligations. Provisions for complaints 56. Members of the public who feel that a request for information or documents was not dealt with according to the standards and procedures formally adopted by the Bank may lodge a formal complaint with the EIB’s Secretary General. This is outlined in the Bank’s Code of Good Administrative Behaviour. 57. The public can also refer their complaint to the independent European Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has been set up to examine complaints about mal-administration in the activities of EU institutions and bodies. The Ombudsman reports to the European Parliament, and considers representations from EU citizens or any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a EU Member State. The Ombudsman may also be prepared, on an “own initiative” basis, to consider complaints about EU institutions and bodies from citizens or residents in non-EU countries. 58. For cases where the citizens or residents from non-EU countries wish to appeal against non- disclosure of information, and whose cases are not being handled by the Ombudsman, the Bank’s Inspector General will investigate the cases. The Inspector General directly reports to the President of the Bank. ---------- 9
  10. 10. ANNEX I RULES ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS [The “Whereas” section has been suppressed as a repetition of the principles and policies stated earlier in this document. As mentioned, once the enacting legislation for the principles of the Aarhus Convention is ratified, the EIB will review these Rules on Public Access to Documents.] _____________________ In application of the principles it has adopted regarding disclosure and information, the Management Committee of the Bank has issued the following rules for the attention of its Departments. Article 1 – Scope 1. Members of the public shall have access to the documents of the Bank in accordance with the principles, on the conditions and within the limits laid down in this decision. 2. “Member of the public” shall mean any citizen of the Union or any natural or legal person residing or having its statutory registered office in a Member State of the European Union or in a State in which the Bank conducts its activities. 3. “Document” shall mean any content drawn up or received by the Bank concerning a matter relating to policies, activities or decisions falling within its sphere of responsibility. 4. “Third party” shall mean any natural or legal person or any entity outside the Bank, including the Member States, other Community or non-Community institutions and bodies and third countries. Article 2 – Applications 1. Applications for access shall be made in any written form, including electronic form. They shall be addressed to: General Secretariat Communication & Information Department European Investment Bank L-2950 Luxembourg or to: infopol@eib.org. 2. Applications for access shall be processed in accordance with the conditions and deadlines laid down in the Code of good administrative behaviour. 3. The applicant shall not be obliged to state reasons for the application. If any application is not sufficiently precise or if it does not enable the document or information sought to be identified, the Bank shall ask the applicant to clarify the application. 4. The Bank shall nevertheless retain the possibility of refusing to follow up any application of an excessive or patently disproportionate nature. 10
  11. 11. Article 3 – Third-party documents Where the Bank is approached with an application in respect of a document in its possession received from a third party, it shall consult the third party concerned for agreement, save where it results clearly from examination of the document in the light of this decision that it must or must not be disclosed. Article 4 – Exceptions 1. Access to all or part of a document shall be refused where its disclosure would undermine the protection of : (i) the public interest as regards international relations or the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Community, its institutions and bodies or a Member State; (ii) privacy and the integrity of the individual, notably with respect to human resources, in particular in accordance with Community legislation regarding the protection of personal data; (iii) court proceedings; (iv) legal advice; (v) the purpose of inspections, investigations and audits; (vi) commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property; (vii) the obligation of professional secrecy where such disclosure were to be contrary to professional ethics, rules and practices applicable in the banking and financial sector. 2. Access to all or part of a document drawn up by the Bank for internal use or received by it, which relates to a matter where the decision has not been taken by it, shall be refused if disclosure of the document would undermine the Bank’s decision-making process. Access to a document containing opinions for internal use as part of deliberations and preliminary consultations within the Bank shall be refused even after the decision has been taken if disclosure of the document would undermine the Bank’s decision-making process. 3. Any document or part of a document containing information about third parties shall not be disclosed, where the information has been identified to the Bank as being confidential, or is covered by an undertaking of confidentiality made by the Bank, or where the information is otherwise of such a nature that it is subject to the Bank’s duty of confidentiality toward third parties. 4. An exception to the rules laid down in the preceding paragraph shall be possible with the written authorisation of the person or entity protected by the confidentiality of the information in question. 5. The exceptions as laid down in the preceding paragraphs shall only apply for the period during which protection is justified on the basis of the content of the document. The exceptions may generally apply for a maximum period of 30 years. In the case of documents covered by the exceptions relating to privacy, commercial interests or internal management powers, the exceptions may, if necessary, continue to apply after this period. Article 5 – Access following an application 1. The applicant shall have access to documents either by consulting them on the spot or by receiving a copy, in electronic form where available. 2. Documents shall be supplied in an existing version and format. 11
  12. 12. 3. If a document has already been released, either by the Bank or by a third party, the Bank shall reply to the application for access by informing the applicant how to obtain the requested document. Article 6 – Reproduction This decision shall be without prejudice to any existing rules on copyright, including that of the Bank, which may limit a third party’s right to reproduce or exploit released documents. Article 7 – Costs An applicant may be charged a fee to cover the costs arising from the making available of documents requested. Article 8 – Recourse Failing a reply within the deadline prescribed in Article 13 of the Code of good administrative behaviour or in the event of a total or partial refusal following a complaint, the applicant shall be free to contact the European Ombudsman in accordance with Article 195 of the Treaty. Article 9 – Final provisions This decision annuls and replaces the decision adopted by the Management Committee on 26 March 1997. This decision is supplemented by the provisions of the Code of good administrative behaviour. The Secretary General of the Bank may, in consultation with the departments concerned, set in place the arrangements for applying these rules. ------------------------------------ 12
  13. 13. ANNEX II SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON THE EIB Website 59. The EIB Website is the main platform for disseminating information on the Bank’s role and activities to the public. It is a key authoritative source of information on the Bank. 60. All documentation published by the EIB is either posted or listed on its website. The website contains the full range of information on the Bank’s governance and transparency, decision- making structure, as well as information on its project lending and its borrowing activities. 61. The Bank is committed to a policy of constant improvement in the content and facilities of the website to enhance rapid and easy access to its information. The website is currently available in English, French, and German. 62. Sub-sites of the Bank’s website focus on particular lending and borrowing objectives or other sectors of EIB activity. Presently, sub-sites exist for the following: o Accession Countries o Mediterranean Partner Countries o African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries o The Western Balkans o Asian and Latin American Countries o Environment o Innovation 2010 Initiative o Capital Markets o Jobs - on current employment opportunities at the EIB o Economic and Financial Studies - gives access to research papers 63. EIB’s website is also accessible through the portal site of the European Union server (www.europa.eu.int) and included in numerous public websites dealing with EU affairs, as well as in the main internet search engines. InfoDesk 64. The InfoDesk (infodesk@eib.org) can be addressed for all requests for information and documents or any other enquiry concerning the EIB’s role and activities. The InfoDesk team can be also be reached by telephone – see contact details below. Key publications 65. A complete and up-to-date list of EIB-publications is available on the Bank’s website (http://www.eib.org/publications/). A search machine helps to find publications. Certain statutory documents and decisions are also published in the Official Journal of the European Union. 66. A selection of key EIB-publications is listed below. Statutory documents 67. EIB Statute - sets out the institutional, legal and governance framework for the Bank’s activities. 13
  14. 14. 68. Rules of Procedure 69. EIB Annual Report - is made up of three separate publications: o EIB Group Financial Report – EIB’s statutory and reference publication, including its financial statement, governance and a summary of EIB and EIF activities. Both EIB and EIB Group consolidated financial statements are included in the EIB Group Financial Report. The consolidated financial statements of the EIB Group are drawn up in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). EIB’s unconsolidated accounts are drawn up in accordance with the European Council Directive 86/635/EEC on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions. EIB’s Financial Report includes extensive information on credit, operational and risk management. The Bank also publishes half-yearly consolidated accounts (unaudited). o EIB Group Activity Report – highlights the Group’s key activities in the previous financial year, both within and outside the European Union. o Projects financed and statistics – includes lists of all loan contracts signed and funds raised in the reference year, as well as statistical analyses covering the last five years. Corporate Strategy, Policies and Procedures 70. The EIB issues a number of documents relating to its operational strategy, internal policies and procedures in support of its activity. These are published on the Bank’s website. Corporate strategy 71. The “Corporate Operational Plan” (COP) is the EIB’s strategic document setting operational priorities and defining medium-term policy in the light of the objectives assigned to the Bank by its Governors. Spanning three years, it is established annually and adapted to take account of new mandates, EU policy orientations and changes in the economic climate. It provides a benchmark on which to appraise performance in subsequently published EIB Annual Reports. Transparency policy 72. Transparency is one of the Bank’s main strategic corporate objectives, reflecting its role as the EU’s policy-driven bank. The policy is spelled out in “Transparency – Report and Proposals” (June 2004), and covers a wide range of actions in the areas of corporate governance, ethics and remuneration; financial reporting and controls and evaluation; and banking activity. The policy also mentions opening further public consultation on selected policies, essentially through the website, and the introduction of reporting on the EIB’s Corporate Responsibility actions. Statement on Governance 73. The Statement explains the guiding principles on Governance at the Bank. It deals with decision-making and supervisory bodies; expertise, ethics and conflicts of interest; remuneration and other benefits; external monitoring structures; financial statements and information on risk control; managing control; compliance; internal audit and control framework; strategy implementation and monitoring; and transparency. Statement on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) 74. The CSR Statement presents a declaration of broad principles (High Level Policy), which are seen as the core of CSR, together with commitments towards the implementation of those 14
  15. 15. principles. This High Level Policy will constitute the basis for the establishment of detailed guidelines and for future reporting. 75. Furthermore the Statement describes the principles that guide the EIB in integrating social and environmental concerns into its business operations. It summarises the existing elements of a CSR policy. It reports compliance with legal requirements as well as voluntary actions, policies, standards and procedures that the EIB carries out in order to reach out to society at large. 76. Aspects regarding the Bank’s staff and other internal issues will be included at a later stage. 77. Guidelines on Anti-corruption and Fraud bring together the main elements of the Bank’s present approach, drawing on the Bank’s Codes of Conduct, Guide to Procurement, and internal guidelines and charters, including conditions introduced into its finance contracts Environmental and social policies, strategies and procedures 78. The “Environmental Statement” and “Environmental Procedures” cover policy and internal guidelines, standards, procedures and organisation in the field of the environment, describing how the EIB assesses environmental and related social aspects of all projects considered for financing, the legal framework applied - depending on where the project is situated - and the responsibilities of project promoters with regard to environmental matters, including any nature conservation requirements. 79. The environmental documents are complemented by “The Social Assessment of Projects in Developing Countries: The Approach of the European Investment Bank” and documents on the EIB’s approach towards “Sustainable Development” and “Climate Change” and its policy on for example “Renewable Energy” and “Urban Development”. Borrowing activity 80. The main means of communication include: o For the disclosure of information on borrowing activities there are the key financial news services, notably Bloomberg and Reuters, the Bank’s website and a Regulatory Information Service. o The Capital Markets sub-site of the Bank's website focuses on the Bank’s borrowing activities. These website pages provide a profile of EIB as a borrower, and information related to key aspects of its borrowing operations, including tables of issues and links to offering circulars and debt issuance programmes. o Regulatory filings that are made available to the public. o The EIB Group Annual Report Group includes the Financial Report, which provides an annual overview of borrowing activities, treasury and liquidity management. Among the Annual Report documents is the Projects and Statistics supplement, which contains a list of bond operations carried out in the capital markets. o Presentation documents o Periodical investor newsletters o Press releases on borrowing activities, which are considered particularly newsworthy or respond to disclosure requirements. o Other specialised information materials on the Bank’s activities in the capital markets. o Queries related to the Bank’s activities in the capital markets can initially be addressed to the Investor Relations Division (investor.relations@eib.org). 81. The EIB also has direct contacts with sections of the investment community in meetings (including road-shows, teleconferences and conferences). Lending activity 82. The “Eligibility Guidelines” explain the legal basis under which the EIB selects the projects it decides to finance within the European Union Member States. Its lending outside the EU is covered by separate mandates from the EU as part of the Union’s external co-operation and development aid policies. 15
  16. 16. 83. The brochure “Project Cycle at the EIB” describes the Bank’s decision-making mechanisms relating to the projects it finances. It also provides an overview of the standard appraisal and monitoring procedures applied which are then tailored to the specific characteristics of each project for which a loan is requested. 84. The “Guide to Procurement” provides promoters of projects financed by the EIB and their suppliers with information on the Bank’s policy, the applicable legal framework and the arrangements to be made for procuring required works, goods and services for projects financed by the EIB. It also details the respective roles of the EIB and promoters of projects Relations with the press and other new media 85. In general the Media Relations Division, Communication and Information Department, manages relations with the news media. The Investor Relations Division in the Capital Markets Department manages relations with specialised capital market press. 86. Press activities are focused on: o Press conferences, organised by the Bank, among which the annual press conferences in Luxembourg and Brussels (in February) presenting the Bank’s results in the previous financial year and, if required, the press conference after the Board of Governors Annual Meeting (in June). o Press contacts, ranging from briefings and interviews to background information meetings. o Press releases, mostly for newsworthy loan signatures. Other topics covered include high profile borrowing operations, new EU policy initiatives involving the Bank, and appointments to the EIB's decision-making bodies and senior management. Press releases are posted on EIB’s website and circulated to those interested on the press release mailing list. o Articles for specialised publications o Corporate and market-oriented advertisements – limited in scope. Civil society relations 87. The Civil Society Unit, Communication and Information Department, manages relations with civil society organisations (CSOs), including NGOs. The Unit acts as an interface with civil society, in particular in coordinating replies to enquiries and requests for information and meetings and workshops with interested organisations. Its activities include: o Regular Workshops. EIB holds Workshops for CSOs on topics of common interest, in principle twice a year, mainly on a regional basis, inside and outside the EU. Workshops are brought to the attention of CSOs by announcing the event on the Bank’s website. The agenda for these Workshops is drawn up in co-operation with interested CSOs. o Local and regional contacts. In addition, the Bank’s staff corresponds and meets with local CSOs, notably when there is a particular interest among the local population and NGOs in an EIB-financed project. Whenever appropriate, operational staff is also included in such meetings, with the Civil Society Unit having a coordinating and facilitating role. o Other events. EIB staff also participates in CSO organized events (the list of events is posted in the Information Policy section on the Bank’s website). Conferences and exhibitions 88. The Bank organises a number of external conferences and events as well as participates in conferences and events organized by third parties. It publishes speeches and statements by EIB senior management on its website. 16
  17. 17. 89. The annual EIB Forum and other occasional conferences gather together experts on important European issues. 90. EIB holds seminars, roundtables and workshops with stakeholders on topics of mutual interest, in particular for business partners. 91. EIB staff participate in external events to promote a professional debate on topics of interest for EIB and others. 92. EIB staff make presentations to visitor groups having a political, professional or academic interest in the Bank’s role and activities. 93. EIB is frequently present at major conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions of special interest to it, in particular those aiming at establishing and extending relations with, for example, the banking sector, public and private economic operators, civil society, and the media, and also at recruitment fairs which present an opportunity to contact potential employees. Audio-visual materials and library facilities 94. Video films, explaining the EIB's role and activities are freely available on VHS PAL standard, and BETACAM standard for professional use. 95. The EIB has a small film library for professional use containing "dossiers" of film material, illustrating aspects of EIB activities and its decision-making structure. 96. The EIB has a small photograph library on EIB activities and personalities which may be consulted by third parties on request. 97. The EIB may provide a restricted access to its Library facilities. This is mainly limited to elements such as its inventory of official EIB texts, and a bibliographic selection of works about the EIB. Consultation of the library facilities is by appointment and subject to staff availability. EIB historical archives 98. The EIB is establishing a declassification policy. In principle, documents of historic value will be gradually released from the Bank’s archives and made available to the interested public. The Bank’s historical Archives are kept, together with those of other EU institutions, in the University Institute in Florence. Languages 99. To promote the accessibility of information, the Bank is committed to a language regime that responds to public needs. EIB’s statutory documents are available in all official EU languages. Other key documents with a particular importance for the public at large, such as “Codes of Conduct”, are also published in all official EU languages, while others are available in at least English, French and German. Translation into other languages can be considered whenever a wide interest arises for a particular document. The EIB requires its staff members to ensure, as far as possible, that citizens writing to the Bank in one of the EU languages receive a reply in the same language. Contacts 100 To include: Website Infodesk Mailbox website Investor relations Media desk Civil Society team Offices -------- 17

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