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European Investment Bank’s Complaints Mechanism

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is a multilateral development bank that is owned by and represents the interests of the Member States of the European Union. It provides financial services to both states and the private sector. Over 90% of its activities are focused on Europe, but the Bank also invests in projects in non-EU states. The Complaints Mechanism (CM) is the grievance mechanism for the EIB.

The CM has three functions: investigation, mediation, and advisory. Under the complaints function the CM investigates complaints and conducts compliance reviews to assess if the Bank complied with its own policies when approving investment in a project. The mediation function serves to provide mediation between the complainants and the company and/or Bank’s Management. In line with the advisory function, the CM can provide advice to senior management on systemic issues and on the basis of lessons learned from the complaints handling. In case the complainants are not satisfied with the outcome of the CM process, the complaint can be referred to the European Ombudsman on issues related to ‘maladministration’. Maladministration includes failure to comply with human rights. This option is also available for citizens outside the European Union if the Ombudsman finds their complaint justified. The EIB is the only mechanism with such appeals procedure.

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