Best Practices for Transparency in Export Promotion: Comparing the EulerHermes AG against International Standards
Export Credit Agencies like the German EulerHermes AG have often been criticised for their restrictive information disclosure and the lack of participation. Through the recently agreed OECD Common Approaches, a trend towards better and earlier information disclosure has been established; however the actual implementation of this agreement remains to be seen. Benjamin Görlach presented recent developments in a workshop organised by the non-governmental organisation World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED).
With reference to their competitive market environment, export credit agencies have long denied claims for earlier and better information disclosure, greater transparency and more public participation. The German EulerHermes AG has long found itself among the more restrictive organisations in this context, whereas export credit agencies in North America and Australia had begun to move towards greater openness. Only since the introduction of the OECD "Common Approaches" in 2004, some improvements are becoming visible in Europe as well.
However, the trend towards earlier and better information disclosure brings up a set of new questions - e.g., whether the existing non-governmental organisations with their limited manpower are equipped to act as the "ecological watchdog" for export credit agencies, whether the involvement of NGOs might not endanger their independence, or whether the trend towards greater transparency might be achieved at the price of having less strict environmental standards.
Benjamin Görlach discussed these questions with some 30 workshop participants. His presentation was based on the results of the project "The Use of Environmental and Social Criteria in Export Credit Agencies' Practices", which Ecologic carried out on behalf of the GTZ in 2004.
Download presentation [pdf, 129 KB, German]