Bankwatch Romania is a member of CEE Bankwatch Network, a network of 16 civil society organisations operating in central and eastern Europe (CEE), established to enable systematic monitoring of the activities of international financial institutions (IFIs) and the impact of their policies and investments.
Bankwatch Romania was set up in 2012 in Bucharest, with the goal of monitoring large infrastructure projects especially in the energy sector, financed by International Financial Institutions, in order to prevent harmful environmental and social impacts. They have been campaigning successfully against new coal capacities and so far cancelled two planned new coal fired plants in Galati and Braila. They have also campaigned against a EUR 200 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for rehabilitation works at Turceni power plant unit 6 (suspended and then cancelled in 2015) and against and lignite mines expanding, in a blend of legal and economic approaches.
Their work focuses on informing and empowering local communities in the lignite region in Romania, litigation in national courts and at the EU level and media outreach on national and EU-level. Since 2015, they have also been working on international development finance from an environmental perspective, monitoring IFIs end Romanian Export-Import Bank’s loans to energy projects in priority countries.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, Bankwatch Romania together with Greenpeace Romania have won five final supreme court cases, canceling EIA permits for mine expansion and preventing deforestation of 1 300 ha of forest.