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    Reference: SG/E/2021/12
    Received Date: 12 July 2021
    Subject: Flood Protection Measures
    Complainant: OZON NGO, Erasinos Protection Initiative and Institutions, the Citizen Association for River Protection - ROI, and Movements for the Protection of Streams – Remattiki
    Allegations: Alleged breach of Greek and of EIB environmental guidelines
    Type: E - Environmental and social impacts of financed projects
    Outcome*: Recommendations 
    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


    The Complaints Mechanism (EIB-CM) registered three complaints between July and September 2021 (SG/E/2021/12, SG/E/2021/15 and SG/E/2021/17) regarding a component of the “Flood protection measures” project in the catchment area of the Erasinos stream (hereinafter “the Erasinos sub-project”). The project co-financed by the EIB is located in the Attica region of Greece.

    In December 2021, the EIB-CM issued one initial assessment report for all three cases given major overlap in the allegations made by the complainants. The report established the following allegations:

    1.       Non-compliance of the Erasinos sub-project with national law: failure to correctly classify the protected areas concerned, failure to comply with the provisions of national law, failure to assess the impacts on an endemic and protected species of fish, and financial compensation for resettlement and start of works before the necessary documentation was obtained.

    2.       Non-compliance of the Erasinos sub-project with EU law: mainly the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, the Habitats Directive, the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive.

    3.       Failure of the EIB to adequately assess the sub-project and comply with the EIB’s environmental and social standards and other commitments in the area of environment.


    After a review of the available information in addition to a site visit, the EIB-CM found Allegation 1 ungrounded while Allegations 2 and 3 were found to be grounded.

    The EIB-CM issued the following recommendations to the EIB:

    1. In view of the non-compliance of the sub-project with EU environmental law:

    (i) take any appropriate measures in line with the finance contract, which could include, among other things, the commitment from the promoter not to use any EIB funds for the Erasinos component until formal compliance with EU environmental law is achieved to the satisfaction of the Bank;

    (ii) continue to engage with the stakeholders of the Erasinos sub-project to:

    a. formally agree on a corrective action plan (CAP) to be implemented by the promoter with the view of redressing the non-compliance issues and meeting the requirements of EU environmental law, as a condition for the Erasinos sub-project implementation;

    b. provide technical environmental expertise to the promoter if and where needed for the effective implementation of the CAP.

    2. Review the way the Erasinos sub-project is presented in the Environmental Social Date Sheet (ESDS), highlighting its specific characteristics, and correct factual errors in the “Public consultation and stakeholder engagement” section.

    In addition, the EIB-CM made one suggestion for improvement to the Bank as follows:

    The EIB Environmental and Social (E&S) procedures currently under review should include a framework that guides the scope of the Bank’s E&S due diligence in EU operations. More specifically, the EIB-CM suggested to the Bank to:

    (i) find a suitable way on how to keep better informed about and take into account relevant EU law infringements, ongoing infringement procedures and significant environmental, climate and social risks;

    (ii) enhance the verification of the compliance with the Water Framework Directive (WFD), more specifically by checking the necessity for and/or availability of a test/assessment regarding the achievement of the environmental objectives of the WFD.



    Project Information