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    Reference: SG/E/2020/03
    Received Date: 02 March 2020
    Subject: Budapest Airport Concession (CAPEX Plan)
    Complainant: The National Society of Conservationists – Friends of the Earth Hungary and the Hungarian NGO “Association for Civilized Air Transport
    Type: E - Environmental and social impacts of financed projects
    Suggestions for improvement: yes
    Dispute Resolution*

    * Admissibility date reflects the date the case was officially registered. All other dates pertain to the date in which a stage was completed.

    Case Description

    In March 2020, a civil society organisation submitted a complaint concerning a project in the Budapest Airport in Hungary. The project comprises a number of investments aimed at accommodating future airport traffic growth and enabling the highest airport safety and security standards.

    In October 2020, the EIB-CM issued its Initial Assessment Report recommending a compliance review into the following allegations: (i) failure to assess and mitigate the climate impact of the project through an EIA, and alleged non-compliance with the EIB’s climate-related standards, (ii) failure to assess the impact of the increase in air traffic and land transport on air pollution, (iii) failure to assess and mitigate noise pollution and negative social impacts on project-affected people, (iv) lack of public consultations on the project; and (v) inadequate information on the social and environmental impacts of the project and its approval procedures in the ESDS published on the EIB’s website.

    The EIB CM issued its Conclusions Report in November 2021. The EIB-CM established that, when performing its appraisal, the EIB did take into consideration the project’s impacts on climate. However, in other aspects, the allegations were found to be grounded. Consequently, the EIB CM recommended that:

    ·         Prior to further disbursements, the EIB services request the promoter to provide the EIB with at least a screening determination for the project components enabling capacity expansion, with a view to ensure an adequate assessment of the cumulative impacts of the project, also in light of the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on air quality in Hungary;

    ·         The EIB services engage with the promoter in order to require (i) the (re)mapping of the project’s affected stakeholders, (ii) an adequate engagement with them, including through the establishment of a comprehensive grievance mechanism in accordance with the EIB's standards and (iii) the inclusion of efficient and long-term mitigation measures for incurred negative social aspects of the project (in particular noise pollution) in the current Environmental and Social Management Plan; 

    ·         The EIB services (i) reissue an updated version of the ESDS in light of the EIB-CM’s findings and conclusions and (ii) remove documents erroneously labelled as “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment” from the EIB’s project website.

    Finally, the EIB-CM issued the following suggestion for improvement: with preference to complex projects, adequate technical (environmental and/or social) and linguistic expertise should be available to the EIB’s appraisal and monitoring teams in order to understand and critically assess project documentation.