The European Investment Bank (EIB), through its Group Chief Compliance Officer Gerhard Hütz, took part in the 10th conference of the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organisations (ENMO), which brings together the most senior professionals responsible for the Ethics functions in multilateral institutions. The event took place at the UN Ethics Office in New York from 10 to 13 July.
The EIB was recently admitted as a member of the ENMO. Members of the network, which includes the UN, EBRD and the World Bank, are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, transparency and integrity.
The 10th ENMO Conference discussed a variety of ethics topics, exchanging on best practices and development of ethics programmes of participating organisations.
A speak-up culture
The conference was opened by UN Under-Secretary General Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Head of Cabinet, who delivered a message by the UN Secretary General promoting a strong Ethics programme and speak-up culture in international organisations. According to the message, the work of Ethics functions is “all the more crucial at a time when there is a crisis of public confidence in international organisations, national governments and aid agencies that rely on public funding in their efforts to help others around the world.”
Participants discussed conflicts of interest policies, whistleblowing policies, new policies against retaliation for reporting misconduct and for cooperating with investigations and audits, benchmarking and best practices of Ethics Offices, among others.
All subjects covered are of high importance for the EIB. The EU bank is currently revising its Codes of Conduct, Whistleblowing Policy and the Dignity at Work Policy.
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.