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How the European Investment Bank discloses environmental information in relation to projects that it finances directly

The case concerned the European Investment Bank's (EIB) practice on disclosing environmental information related to projects that it finances directly. The complainants considered that the EIB’s practice is at odds with the 'Aarhus legislation' on environmental information and prevents effective public participation in decisions on projects with a potential environmental impact.

During the inquiry, the Ombudsman sent a preliminary assessment to the EIB with suggestions for improvement aimed at improving the information it makes available about projects.

The EIB agreed to implement some of the suggestions. For some of the suggestions to which the EIB did not agree, the Ombudsman continues to believe that it would be in the public interest for the EIB to implement these changes. As such, she reiterated those suggestions.

While the inquiry was ongoing, the EIB revised its internal transparency rules and other related practices. The Ombudsman also made changes to how she will deal, in future, with transparency-related complaints against the EIB. The Ombudsman will assess in the future whether these changes improve some of the issues identified in this inquiry. Against this background, the Ombudsman closed the case as no further inquiries were justified.