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ECA Reform Campaign

FERN works as part of an international NGO campaign to reform ECAs. Its objectives are to see legally binding environmental, social and human rights guidelines for ECAs and to support the advocacy efforts of people affected by specific harmful projects.

The origin of the campaign is an NGO strategy meeting that occurred in Jakarta in May 2000. The Jakarta Declaration was drafted there and endorsed by 347 NGOs from 45 countries.

The European ECA Reform campaign aims to raise awareness of the role of ECAs and their lack of progress in respecting local people's rights and the environment. FERN facilitates the campaign and works to get the European institutions interested and active on this issue.


The ECA Watch network campaigns to strengthen policy reforms and to resist projects with harmful impacts on the environment and communities. The three main areas of campaigning are:

Strengthened legislation: export credit agencies’ mandate must be changed. ECA activities need to be made subject to a general obligation to support public authorities and promote public interests such as addressing the social and environmental challenges of today.

No subsidies: ECAs are not meant to make profit. However, there are strong indications that ECAs make substantial levels of profit, not least by charging Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets for the writing off of export credit debt. ECAs are actually subsidized by ODA-budgets. Therefore ECA-Watch calls, among others, for full financial transparency and common accounting standards to ensure that ECA support is actually paid for by the corporations that are being supported.

Transparency and compliance: ECA-Watch seeks enhanced transparency requirements, notably on the decision-making processes for projects, as a tool for greater accountability.


The European ECA Reform Campaign brings together a coalition of european organisations including Both Ends (The Netherlands), The Cornerhouse (UK), ECA Watch (Austria), INFOE (Germany), ODG (Spain), Euronatura (Portugal), Les Amis de la Terre (France), CRBM (Italy), Urgewald (Germany) and Berne Declaration (Switzerland).


Most recent publications

Clear Cut making EU Financial Institutions Work for People and Forests

This report examines the activities of different financial institutions and their involvement in forest-risk agriculture. It investigates specific voluntary policies intended to address environmental, social and governance issues and the problems that arise with such measures (e.g. lack of public oversight and inability to enforce).

Clear Cut.pdf3.44 MB

Still exporting destruction: A civil society assessment of Export Credit Agencies’ compliance with EU Regulation (PE-CONS 46/11)

ECA Watch has prepared this ‘shadow report’ — with the support of other civil society groups — in order to assess current ECA practice in relation to issues such as transparency, public accountability and more generally, their compliance with the EU’s ob
shadow report.pdf667.96 KB

Member State compliance with Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty

On 6 August 2012, ECA Watch and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice sent a letter to the President of the Commission Jose Manuel Barroso requesting a meeting to discuss how the Commission intends to monitor Member State compliance with Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty and how NGOs can be involved in the elaboration of an appropriate compliance framework

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) default on its obligations to Export Credit Agencies

Press release launched on the day that more than 30 European non governmental organisations (NGOs)  delivered a letter calling on governments not to fund a new pulp mill proposed by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one of the world's most controversial pulp and paper companies. The plant is planned to be build in Sumatra, Indonesia where APP is estimated to have already pulped more than two million hectares of natural rainforests.

Giving human rights credit: EU countries agree to toughen export loan scrutiny

A press release from ECA-Wach, Amnesty International and Eurodad. It welcomes EU permanent representatives' endorsement of the European Parliament’s proposal to make national export credit agencies (ECAs) more accountable for the support they give companies doing business around the world. The three organisations believe this move will increase transparency and human rights compliance and  hope that this will trigger more ambitious reforms in EU capitals, leading to a general reform in global ECA standards.

ECAs Press Release 290611-1.pdf23.09 KB

Financing nuclear times

This newspaper style publication is available in hard copy from It outlines the history of Export Credit Agencies' support for the nuclear industry and concludes by detailing the destructive projects still in the pipeline.