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Trade - Export Credit Agencies

Date

05 Apr 2011

EP votes to tackle problems with export credit agencies

 
The European Parliament today adopted a proposal to revise EU rules on export credit agencies (1). The adopted report represents the EP position for negotiations with the Council on a first reading agreement on this legislation. The Greens welcomed the outcome, which would address some of the problems in the current system. After the vote, French Green and EP draftsperson (rapporteur) Yannick Jadot said:

"The EP has today voted to address some of the serious flaws with Export Credit Agencies in Europe, which undermine what is an important instrument for supporting the trade and investments of European companies.

"There are very real concerns about lack of transparency surrounding the activities of ECAs, which can facilitate illegal state aid, corruption and unsustainable infrastructure projects. These concerns have been heightened by fears of growing defaults. For this reason, it is very welcome that MEPs supported my proposals for stronger reporting requirements for ECAs. It is high time to introduce more transparency to the activities of ECAs, as well as mandatory reporting through annual activity reports and more transparency on mechanisms for costing environmental risk. The EP will now push the Council to include these changes in the final legislation.

"It is important that the private projects guaranteed by ECAs, which often amount to € billions, are consistent with the development goals of the EU (as set out in the EU Treaty) rather than thwarting them. Private risks should not lead to a greater public debt burden. MEPs have voted to ensure ECAs respect international social, labour, human rights and environmental standards. The EP also reiterated the need to phase out subsidies in fossil fuels."

 

(1) An export credit agency (ECA) is a private or quasi-governmental institution that acts as an intermediary between national governments and exporters to issue export financing. The financing can take the form of direct financial support credits or credit insurance and guarantees or both, depending on the mandate the ECA has been given by its government.
 
Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042
www.greens-efa.eu - http://twitter.com/GreensEP

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