Last week, the European network of International Financial Institutions (EuroIFInet) watchers met in Brussels for their biannual strategy meeting. The meeting offered the chance for representatives from 20 European non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to share information updates and to coordinate actions ahead of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings, which are due to take place from 19 to 21 April 2013 in Washington, DC.
This year, Eurodad hosted the meeting of this informal but active network of NGOs together with the Belgian-based National Centre for Cooperation and Development (CNCD). Two participants from the global south, Aly Sagne from Senegal (Civil Society Coalition on the African Development Bank) and Sukhgerel Dugersuren from Mongolia (OT Watch) shared their experiences with European colleagues.
The network discussed the ongoing review of the World Bank’s environmental and social safeguards policies, as well as its implications for specific sectors such as procurement, land tenure and the environment. Several sessions revolved in particular around the reaction of civil society organisations (CSOs) to a recent audit on the environmental and social impacts of financial investments through the International Finance Corporation – the World Bank’s private sector lending arm.
Issues related to the private sector were also addressed during the meeting through discussions about CSO concerns regarding the World Bank’s Doing Business Review and regarding the operations of the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, including in the energy sector.
These issues will be among the topics discussed during official sessions of the World Bank and IMF spring meetings and the corresponding back-to-back Civil Society Policy Forum, which will take place between 17 and 20 April 2013.