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Seminar series

In the green trenches

The EIB's quest to become EU's climate bank and its evaluative underpinnings

Add to calendar 2023-10-30 17:00 2023-10-30 18:30 Europe/Rome In the green trenches Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia and Zoom YYYY-MM-DD


30 October 2023

17:00 - 18:30 CET


Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia

and Zoom

Join Matthias Thiemann as he presents his recent research with the Political Economy Working Group

This seminar focuses on the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s multi-lateral development bank, and its role in green financing. The European Investment Bank has been a major innovating actor in introducing green bonds and other forms of green financing. This role has become even more pronounced since 2019, when the EIB announced it was becoming ‘Europe’s Climate Bank’. As a public bank, its recent move towards addressing climate change heads on faces public scrutiny, asking how far their investment decisions live up to their proclaimed goals. This latest move into green finance was a high reputational risk for the EIB, due to claims of greenwashing and a general public suspicion over green finance initiatives.


In this session, Professor Matthias Thiemann will analyse how the EIB sought to face the public’s critical scrutiny in its new enhanced investment function as a green investor, underlining how a variety of public and institutional pressures towards greening led the EIB to seek the position of ‘main climate investor’. The tightening of EIB standards and evaluation criteria, including aligning with the Paris criteria from 2021 onwards, raises new questions on the effectiveness of such climate-friendly framing in a bank. Especially because the bank is still bound by its shareholders internal decisions, such as the EU Member-states, and its legacy activity as a promoter of largescale infrastructure. In this context, evaluation is analysed as an ambivalent instrument, driving transformative change while at the same time legitimizing business as usual.

This event is organised in the framework of CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences. CIVICA brings together ten leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences to build an inter-university campus that provides joint and long-lasting opportunities in teaching, research and innovative learning, while enhancing academic excellence and facilitating civic engagement in Europe and beyond. CIVICA was selected by the European Commission as one of the pilot European Universities in 2019 and confirmed as successful alliance in 2022 for its full roll-out under the Erasmus+ programme. Read more on

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