Counter Balance EIB


Founded in 2007

Counter Balance is a European coalition of non-governmental organisations on development and environment. The coalition is aimed at challenging the European Investment Bank (EIB). The organisations involved have extensive experience working on development finance and international financial institutions (IFIs). They also have experience in campaigning to prevent negative impacts from major infrastructure projects.


Counter Balance's mission is to make the European Investment Bank (EIB) an open and progressive institution. The EIB must deliver on European Union (EU) development goals and promote sustainable development to empower people affected by its work.

The EIB is the house bank of the EU and is the largest public lender in the world: lending nearly 60 billion euro in 2008. Its lack of binding social and environmental standards, of accountability and transparency, does not coincide with the democratic values of the EU institutions in which EIB is embedded.

The EIB is unique among International Financial Institutions in being situated in a framework of democratic institutions. The EIB is owned entirely by the 27 member states of the European Union. Thus it is susceptible to pressure from a wide range of concerned stakeholders, like the European Parliament, member state governments, affected communities and people exercising their democratic rights as European citizens. Counter Balance seeks to galvanise and focus some of that pressure into effective and necessary reform of the EIB.


Both ENDS is an active member of the coalition since the summer of 2008. Both ENDS monitors the activities of the European Investment Bank by participating in the outreach, research, analysis and lobby at European and Dutch levels. Both ENDS also plays a key role in the connection with organisations in the South, in particular in Latin America.


European Commission
CS Mott Foundation
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Counterbalance toolkit for parliamentarians

Counterbalance multimedia forum

Factsheets on energy in Europe




Recently two new coalitions related to the project were formed. One is an EIB observatory composed of several partner organisations. Including an indigenous South American organisation, which follows the work of the EIB in Latin America in coordination with the Counterbalance coalition.

Furthermore the formation of a new legal clinic was agreed upon in which several independent lawyers as well as legal organisations will participate to help analyse the legal framework of the EIB.

The Counter Balance coalition has published factsheets on the EIB and a Citizens' Guide to the European Investment Bank in several languages.

Check the Counter Balance media room for more information.


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