Ryan: Ireland should oppose EIB switch into lending for arms

28th June 2017



The Green Party has expressed serious concerns at proposed changes to the governance structure of the European Investment Bank (EIB) that would allow the bank to lend to weapons and arms companies.

Speaking following statements on the recent European Council meeting in the Dáil today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “The Taoiseach reported back from last week’s European Council with news of advanced plans to change the mandate of the EIB to allow them lend to the armaments industries – a change in long standing policy for the bank.

“This would be a radical departure for the bank and is one that Ireland should strongly oppose. The EIB would lose their ability to raise money from ethical funding sources and would have to divert capital away from other critical lending areas.

“The EU currently spends €1 billion every day on imported fossil fuels, most of which goes to Russia and Saudi Arabia. Our best security policy would be to get the EIB to lend into the alternative clean energy transition. Instead of this approach the Union is thinking of lending to arms suppliers so they can sell more weapons into the Gulf, which will be paid for by our own money, that we have given them for more oil." 

"We need to break this destructive cycle. We will be asking the Taoiseach next week what is the Irish Government's position around this misguided and historic shift to a more militarised European Union.”