PRESS RELEASE For immediate release Civil Society Call on World Bank Executive Directors to Prioritise Climate Commitments under new Presidency March 15, 2019 Today, civil society groups from the Global North and South called on the World Bank’s board to prioritise the Bank’s role in combating climate change in the selection of the next World […]See more
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is revising its Access to Information Policy and Directive. The proposed Policy and accompanying Directive fall considerably short of international best practice and do not align with international law. The draft Policy and Directive are not people-centered and are instead excessively client-oriented. BIC Europe joined 25 other civil society organizations […]See more
BIC Europe was established in recognition of the important role of European governments and European civil society in the international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Europe holds eight seats on the World Bank’s Board of Directors, with over 30% share of the vote. Traditionally, European EDs have provided a progressive voice on issues such as human rights, climate change and transparency. In recent years, the European voice has been more muted and there is a need to reinvigorate Europe’s role as a champion on issues of social and environmental justice.
BIC Europe also plays a key role in holding the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to account. The World Bank’s and Asian Development Bank’s traditional dominant shareholders, the US and Japan, are not members of the AIIB; however, European members Germany, France and the UK are all top ten shareholders, and the European constituencies hold two of the 12 Board seats. The UK heads the wider Europe constituency at the AIIB and Germany leads the Eurozone constituency. Together, European shareholders hold over 20% of shares in the AIIB and can be an influential voice.
BIC Europe was officially registered as Stichting Bank Information Center with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce on October 19th 2015.
BIC Europe is supported by foundations and organizations that work in the fields of environment and development. BIC Europe is not affiliated with any of the International Financial Institutions, nor does it receive any funding from them.
BIC Europe promotes ecological and social justice by ensuring development finance protects and does not harm people and the natural resources they depend upon for their livelihoods.
We are an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization that holds International Financial Institutions to account, advocating for:
We organise our work around two themes:
Rights and accountability: we support communities in their struggle for their rights to be respected and their voices to be heard, so that they benefit from rather than bear the costs of development.
Ecological justice: the climate crisis demands urgent action from IFIs: to stop bankrolling fossil fuels, promote renewable energy, and stop forest destruction. But this must happen in a way that supports and does not undermine the livelihoods of local communities but rather puts them at the centre of development decision-making.
Through project and policy monitoring, coalition building, advocacy support, information dissemination and capacity building, BIC Europe works in solidarity with local communities and civil society organisations so they have an important voice in decisions that affect them, opening political space around development decision-making.
To foster an informed and engaged movement in Europe on the IFIs, BIC Europe plays a facilitating, convening and coordinating role with civil society.
BIC Europe engages with European governments and Board members of the World Bank and AIIB, to hold European shareholders accountable.
Nezir is a seasoned international development specialist with experience in environmental and social policy research, strategic communications, and civil society advocacy. As a former Research Analyst for the Institute for Development Policy in Kosovo, he has in-depth understanding of the engagement of civil society to advocate for sustainable development standards and safeguards. Nezir has also served as Corporate Communications Manager for a state-owned energy company in Kosovo, where he led public outreach and media engagement during a process of structural reform in the energy sector, and as a Communications Specialist for a governance reform program funded by USAID in Kosovo, focusing on civil society engagement, civic education, and awareness campaigns. He holds an M.S. in Service Management from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in English from the University of Pristina. He is fluent in English and Albanian, and is proficient in Serbo-Croatian and German.
Kate joined BIC in 2016 and became BIC Europe’s Co-Director in November 2017. Previously, Kate led Oxfam’s advocacy on land rights, working in support of communities affected by land grabs and campaigning for policy change; and was also a policy adviser for Oxfam on climate change and the private sector. Before joining Oxfam in 2004, Kate worked for a number of environmental and human rights organisations – including TERRA in Southeast Asia – and was Coordinator of the Ilisu Dam Campaign coalition, including Friends of the Earth, the Kurdish Human Rights Project and The Corner House. She has published a number of reports including Our Land, Our Lives; The New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations; Now or Never; Climate Change: Time to get down to business; The Forecast for Tomorrow: The UK’s climate for change; co-author of Dams Inc: The record of twelve European dam-building companies; and for several years was Managing Editor of Watershed magazine in Thailand. She has a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University.
Petra joined BIC Europe in March 2018. Before this, she worked with BIC and as a Programme Manager at the Bretton Woods Project, monitoring the World Bank, for over five years where she coordinated the work on environment, human rights and social impacts. She has previously worked at organisations such as Progressio, the New Economics Foundation, and the World Development Movement, focusing on social and environmental issues, such as sustainable and equitable water resources management and climate change. She has also spent one year working in Tanzania for a conservation organisation. Petra holds an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, and a BSc in Social Science from University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is currently completing a PGDip in Environment and Sustainability at Birkbeck, University of London.
Natalya joined BIC Europe in December 2018. For the past 17 years she has worked in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, leading a number of local and international projects funded by, for example, OSI, European Commission and USAID, focusing on social issues, such as budget transparency and accountability, CSOs capacity building, human rights and sustainable development. In Kazakhstan, Natalya led the INTEL charity program for Project Harmony International in Kazakhstan. She has also headed the Moscow office of Independent News agency. Natalya holds an MSc in IT from Technical State University, Kazakhstan, and a degree in journalism from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia.
For twenty years, Heike Mainhardt has provided empirical analysis to support initiatives in the field of environment, poverty, and development. Heike has consulted to a wide range of organizations, including civil society organizations, the US government, the United Nations, and the World Bank. She has been an expert contributor to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change and the US Government’s greenhouse gas inventory. Heike has held senior positions at the Bank Information Center, World Wildlife Fund, and ICF Consulting. Heike received her M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan in Environmental Science.
Communications and Research Fellow
Jen Derillo is a graduate of Media and Culture studies and has been working in development communications for the past 5 years. Jen is currently taking a doctorate in Anthropology and its role in development in Belgium at the University of Ku Leuven.
BIC Europe has five permanent members of the Board of Directors (as registered with the Dutch government)
Marcus Colchester life’s work has focused on securing indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands and livelihoods by pressing for policy change at grass-roots, national and international levels. He has worked extensively in support of indigenous communities in countries including Venezuela and Indonesia, and is based in the UK. Marcus joined BIC Europe’s Board in 2015 as Chair.
Saskia Luutsche Ozinga is a Dutch environmental and social activist, based in the UK. She is the facilitator of the Forest Movement Europe and the co-founder of the NGO FERN, of which she is currently the campaigns coordinator, with a mandate to monitor EU activities in relation to forests and facilitate joint advocacy work towards the different EU institutions. Saskia joined BIC Europe’s Board in 2015 as Treasurer.
Susanne Breitkopf, Policy Manager at the Environmental Investigation Agency in the US, has worked on forests, natural resources and governance for over 20 years. For eight years, she served at Greenpeace International as forest campaigner, political advisor, and team leader for international forest and climate policy. A German national, she has lived and worked with different civil society organizations in Europe, Africa and North America. Susanne joined BIC Europe’s Board in 2015.
Kristen (Kris) Genovese, senior researcher at SOMO in the Netherlands, specialises in supporting communities and workers who are seeking remedy for corporate-related human rights abuses through non-judicial grievance mechanisms. Since 2007, Kris has worked with sugarcane workers in Nicaragua affected by chronic kidney disease to help determine the cause of the epidemic and to obtain improved health and social services; and has also worked with mining-affected communities in Colombia, Guatemala and Bolivia. Kris joined BIC Europe’s Board in September 2017.
Pol Vandevoort is a seasoned social justice campaigner based in Belgium. Pol worked for many years for the NGO 11.11.11 (Coalition of the Flemish North -South movement) ,first running their Asia Programme, then as advisor on international financial institutions. In the 70s and 80s, Pol worked with communities in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, running community development projects. Pol joined BIC Europe’s Board in September 2017.
BIC Europe advocates for social, ecological and economic justice by working in solidarity with communities to amplify local voices and democratise international development finance.
Our work focuses on two themes:
Rights and accountability: We support communities in their struggle for their rights to be respected and their voices to be heard, so that they benefit from rather than bear the costs of development. Our current programme focuses on:
Ecological justice: The climate crisis demands urgent action from IFIs: to stop bankrolling fossil fuels, promote renewable energy, and stop forest destruction. But this must happen in a way that supports and does not undermine the livelihoods of local communities but rather puts them at the centre of development decision-making. Our current programme focuses on:
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is in the process of establishing its accountability mechanism that is vital not only as a means of remedy for communities that have suffered harm, but also for the institution to learn from its mistakes. Public consultation on a new draft Complaints Handling Mechanism will begin in January 2018. A […]See more
In June 2017, the Board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approved the bank’s new Energy Sector Strategy. In it, the AIIB explicitly commits to the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This is good news for both climate and energy access for poor communities. However, many in civil society are […]See more