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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).