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Ombudsman welcomes Commission's commitment to take greater account of environment and human rights in reviewing export credit agencies

In response to a recommendation from the European Ombudsman, the European Commission has stated that it will seek more information about the projects being financed by export credit agencies (ECAs) - national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business in risky markets. The Commission, which verifies whether the activities of the ECAs are in line with EU law, is looking for  more detail from Member States, notably on how ECA projects are assessed with regards to the environment, human rights and sustainable lending.

The complainant, ECA Watch - an international coalition of NGOs that monitor export credit agencies - had raised concerns about the adequacy of the reviewing process, in particular with respect to the protection of human rights and the environment. Following her inquiry, the Ombudsman asked the Commission to consult with stakeholders  in order to improve the template used by national authorities to compile the reports on export credit agencies that they submit to the Commission as part of the annual assessment.

The Commission has informed the Ombudsman that Member States will be requested to use the revised template for their 2019 annual reports.