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    The EIB’s Board of Directors and several Management Committee members have met representatives of civil society to discuss the bank’s strategy and operations. The views of dozens of varied civil society groups were articulated at this meeting held at our Luxembourg HQ on Monday 4 February. This exchange was the second of its kind, building upon that which took place in 2011.

    The civil society groups represented a variety of interests ranging from protecting the environment to fighting poverty to protecting Europe’s cultural heritage. In short, they are a very diverse set of stakeholders, each with good levels of knowledge and expertise about local and global challenges. They heard senior management describe how the EIB is working to achieve sustainable jobs and growth in Europe, with a stress on climate action and inclusive growth and development.

    The event demonstrated again the importance to EIB operations of the input and constructive criticism from civil society organisations. Also, the EIB Board, staff and civil society participants who took part in the discussions were convinced that this type of engagement helps all parties achieve better mutual understanding. For example, there were substantial discussions on how the EIB’s Board makes decisions and guides the Bank’s operations.

    Action points arising from the seminar included plans to continue and deepen engagement with civil society at all levels of our operations. This includes a commitment to host smaller, more focused workshops in 2013 on areas of specific interest to civil society. In particular this will include the revision of our social assessment guidance notes and anti-fraud policy. The EIB also took note of several requests for increased transparency on our website and through the planned register of documents. Another Board Seminar with Civil Society is planned for 2014 year.