EPSU joins call for EIB to resist pressure on defence industry financing

EPSU joins call for EIB

(26 March 2024) EPSU is one of thirty civil society organisations (CSOs) to sign a collective letter calling on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to maintain its commitment to keep defence spending out of its purview amidst mounting pressures.

In an open letter addressed to EIB President Nadia Calviño and the EIB governing bodies, CSOs commend the EIB for its previous resistance against expanding its mandate to finance the defence sector. It’s crucial to uphold the EIB’s exclusion list, which prohibits funding for activities such as military expenditure, in alignment with its core principles of financing climate action, environmental sustainability, and economic and social cohesion.

The letter expresses concern over recent calls, including those within the European Commission’s European Defence Industrial Strategy, which have urged the EIB to broaden its scope to include technologies with dual-use potential. Such a move would divert the EIB from its primary objectives and risk channelling public finance into the arms industry.

In the face of the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis, the EIB must prioritise investments in environmentally and socially beneficial projects. Financing the defence industry with EIB funds would undermine efforts to meet climate targets and exacerbate geopolitical vulnerabilities.

The letter also raises concerns about lobbying efforts to categorise materials crucial to the defence sector, like titanium, as critical raw materials, potentially further entrenching the EIB in financing defence interests.

Read the letter here.