ECA-Watch letter to the Export Credit Group (ECG) of the OECD Re: Civil society consultation - August 21, 2008

August 21, 2008

Ms. Nicole Bollen
Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits
2, rue André Pascal
F-75775 Paris Cedex 16

Fax : c/o 01 44 30 61 58
Email : c/o

Dear Ms. Bollen,

Thank you for your letter of July 29, inviting ECA-Watch members to participate in an ECG consultation on November 18.

In a letter dated November 5, 2007, ECA-Watch members expressed frustration that past consultations with the ECG have not involved meaningful, substantive discussion. Despite our efforts to provide ECG members with timely, detailed submissions on substantive issues, ECG consultations have not included genuine discussion. Consequently, we communicated our decision to decline participation in future ECG consultations. We expressed our desire to resume dialogue with the ECG, should the Group demonstrate its willingness to engage in meaningful discussion. Separately, in a communication to OECD Ambassadors, we also set out specific proposals for improving consultations, notably establishing joint working groups on specific sectoral/thematic issues.

In your reply of November 23, 2007, you communicated members’ agreement to "consider further modalities for peer reviews and future CSOs consultations." In addition, you stated that "the ECG's Environmental Practitioners will consider at their next meeting how CSOs could contribute to the building of a body of experience in the implementation of the 2007 Recommendation on the environment." We have not received any further communication updating us on the outcome of any of these discussions. In the absence of a clear proposal from ECG that addresses our concerns, we have been left with no choice but to assume that the upcoming consultation will not differ significantly from past meetings.

Earlier this year, members of ECA-Watch also submitted a detailed proposal to their respective governments concerning the adoption of a peer review mechanism for the implementation of the 2007 Common Approaches. The proposal, attached here, was also sent to you and the ECG Secretariat. The document, which includes concrete recommendations, was intended to foster dialogue with ECG members about the very modalities that the ECG had stated it would be discussing.

Again, we have received no feedback on the substance of our proposal from either ECG members or the Secretariat. We take this silence as a further indication that the ECG does not intend to address our stated concerns regarding the nature and quality of our exchanges.

A substantive response to our peer review proposal, either collectively through the ECG or from individual ECG members, would signal interest in meaningful dialogue. Absent such an indication, we respectfully decline your invitation to the November consultation.

Yours Sincerely,

Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

On behalf of:

Wiert Wiertsema, Both ENDS

Regine Richter, Urgewald

Antonio Tricarico, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale

Noriko Shimizu, Friends of the Earth Japan

Mónica Vargas, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (Debtwatch)

Doug Norlen, Pacific Environment

Tove Selin, Finnish ECA Reform Campaign

Jan Cappelle, Proyecto Gato

Thomas Wenidoppler, ECA Watch Austria

Bruce Rich, Environmental Defense Fund

Karyn Keenan, Halifax Initiative Coalition

Christine Eberlein, Berne Declaration

Adriana Alves, Euronatura

Sébastien Godinot, Les Amis de la Terre

Heike Drillisch, WEED