EU Investment Bank Harassment Claims Face Parliament Hearing

Top staff at the European Investment Bank will be asked to appear at a behind-closed-doors hearing in front of EU lawmakers following reports of harassment and bullying at the institution.

The European Parliament’s influential economic and monetary affairs committee agreed to set up the hearing after a Bloomberg report described accusations of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination at the Luxembourg-based EIB.

The article, published on April 19, was based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former employees, court filings and internal documents.

It was a “unanimous” decision to call the hearing, said Sven Giegold, a German EU lawmaker, who sits on the parliamentary committee. “The hearing won’t be public, to allow the most honest statements possible.”

Established at the birth of the EU in 1958, the bank is the funding arm of the 27-nation bloc, disbursing hundreds of billions of euros for development projects that further its stated goals. The employees Bloomberg interviewed for story, about half of whom still work at the EU’s in-house investment bank, said they had either witnessed or been victims of harassment, including what they considered psychological abuse.

The committee plans to invite officials from the bank, employee representatives and the authors of the Bloomberg report.

“Things can move very quickly and this will happen,” said Giegold. The committee will decide on its next steps once it’s heard all parties, he said.

The EIB declined to comment on the hearing.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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