Large-scale infrastructural projects have detrimental effects on local people and the environment, while their benefits are felt elsewhere. Both ENDS is working to ensure that local people have a greater say in decision-making and is investigating the way these projects are funded.
This year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. On this occasion it published a book focusing on 50 years of export credits. Wiert Wiertsema (Both ENDS) writing on behalf of ECA Watch, however, thinks that this is a momentum that asks for reforms, rather than hurrays.
With an overwhelming majority - 643 votes in favour, 20 against and 9 abstentions - a new law, which forces European export credit agencies (ECAs) to be more transparent about the environmental and social effects of transactions supported by ECAs, has just been approved of in the European Parliament. As of next year, all ECAs will have to deliver a report about this to the European Commission and the European Parliament on a yearly basis.
Both ENDS is a member of the ECA-Watch network, which monitors ECAs and stimulates more transparent, sustainable and socially just ECA-supported transactions. Clearly we are very pleased with the current developments and we hope that this will be a first step towards greener and fairer investment policies in the EU.
The European Parliament in its plenary session on the 5th of April, adopted a proposal to regulate Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) that will force them to become more transparent on where their funds come from, and go to, as well as how they count social and environmental risks. Furthermore, the Parliament requires ECAs to comply with EU human rights objectives in their activities, and to phase out the subsidising of fossil fuel projects in line with commitments adopted by the G20 in 2009.
Together with civil society organisations from all over the world, the Fair Green and Global (FGG) Alliance aims for socially just, inclusive and environmentally sustainable societies in the Netherlands and the Global South.
Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB provides ample opportunity for money laundering and tax avoidance.
A structural lack of control on the part of Dutch export credit agency Atradius Dutch State Business (DSB) gives leeway to its customers and their partners to launder money and dodge taxes. This is the main conclusion of the study ‘Cover for What?’ done by researchers of the Dutch NGO Both ENDS. Displaying this lack of control Atradius, which is working exclusively for the Dutch State, undermines policies designed by the very Dutch State to counteract money laundering and tax evasion. The study shows three transactions backed by Atradius in which multinationals choose a seat in tax havens and handle affairs from there, using non-transparent business structures. Atradius does nothing to counter these strategies. The lack of control displayed by Dutch ECA Atradius might very well apply to similar export credit agencies in other countries.