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International Partnerships

Scaling up sustainable finance in low and middle-income countries - High-level expert group

In July 2021 the European Commission adopted a Strategy for Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy to improve the flow of money towards financing that transitions economies to become more sustainable. The strategy identifies follow up actions. One of them is related to the support to low- and middle-income countries in scaling up their access to sustainable finance by developing a dedicated EU Sustainable Finance Strategy and by promoting sustainability-related financial instruments.

For this reason, the European Commission is setting up a High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on scaling up sustainable finance in low- and middle-income countries.

The group’s mission

The group’s primary tasks will be to identify the challenges and opportunities of sustainable finance in low- and middle-income countries and to provide recommendations to the European Commission. The report will focus on how to increase resources from private capital to close the current SDG financing gap and to accelerate private financial flows for the implementation of the external dimension of the Green Deal and a green, just and resilient recovery in our partner countries. The report will be publicly accessible, as it will represent an important contribution to the policy debate and the forthcoming EU Sustainable Finance strategy for low- and middle-income countries.


The overall task of the group is to identify the challenges and opportunities that sustainable finance presents in our partner countries and provide recommendations to the Commission to accelerate private financial flows. The following strands are suggested for discussions in separate working groups, subject to discussion and endorsement by the plenary.

  • Supporting sustainability-related financial instruments and products (Instruments and products, Subgroup 1).
  • Facilitating global and local investments in sustainable and SDG-aligned projects (Pipeline, Sub-group 2).
  • Building coherent frameworks and ecosystems conducive to accelerating private finance flows for sustainable development, building on the EU’s Sustainable Finance experience (Framework, Sub-group 3).

Group members

The Commission is calling for applications with a view to selecting members of the group, other than public entities.

This informal expert group shall consist of up to 20 experienced senior, high-level members (rapporteur included) and up to 20 observers. They shall all be entitled to speak on behalf of their organisation, institution or government. The group shall be geographically representative of the EU’s work with partner countries across the world and of the EU countries themselves and shall bring together different sectoral areas and domains of expertise (eg: business vs development finance institutions).

Members shall be appointed by the Director-General of Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) from applicants complying with the requirements (selection criteria). Members and observers shall be appointed for 9 months. They shall remain in office until the end of their term of office. Registration in the Transparency Register is required for individuals representing a common interest / organisations to be appointed.

Selection procedure

The selection procedure shall consist of an assessment of the applications performed by DG INTPA against the selection criteria listed in chapter 4 of this call, followed by the establishment of a list of the most suitable applicants, and concluded by the appointment of the members of the group.

When defining the composition of the group, DG INTPA shall aim at ensuring, as far as possible, a high level of expertise, as well as a balanced representation of relevant know- how and areas of interest, while taking into account the specific tasks of the group, the type of expertise required, as well as the relevance of the applications received. Where individual experts are appointed to represent a common interest, DG INTPA shall seek a geographical balance and a gender balance.


A. Proven and relevant professional experience in a senior role within projects, activities and/or organisations having a clear sustainable finance dimension;

B. Demonstrable expertise and understanding of the global financial system and the sustainable finance related regulatory contexts, including latest innovations and findings at the international levels/fora;

C. Familiarity with sustainable finance principles and frameworks (incl. ESG factors, taxonomies, standards and labels, sustainability-related reporting requirements) and with aligning global financial flows with the SDGs;

D. Proven in-depth knowledge of regional and local/national challenges and opportunities to scale up sustainable finance in low- and middle-income countries. Relevant work experience in one or several of the regions Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and the neighbourhood countries;

E. Good understanding and/or experience in building credible pipelines of bankable and soundly environmental projects in low- and middle-income countries;

F. Strong track record in contributing to policy debate and commentary on the links between sustainability/environmental issues and the financial system;

G. Good knowledge of the English language allowing active participation in the discussions and the review of contributions to the group’s deliverables;

H. Willingness and ability to commit sufficient time to the HLEG’s work over the duration of the group (up to a maximum of 12 months). Availability to participate to all HLEG meetings.

For individuals applying in order to represent a common interests:

I. Proven capacity to represent effectively the position shared by stakeholders within the area of sustainable finance (individuals applying to be appointed in order to represent a common interest only).


The HLEG published its Preliminary Findings & Recommendations in June 2023. This document outlines some of the Group’s preliminary recommendations to the European Commission.

The final report and recommendations, as well as its executive summary, were published in April 2024.

These documents are not official European Commission documents nor are they representing an official European Commission position. Nothing in these documents commits the European Commission nor does it preclude any policy outcomes.

Related documents

30 APRIL 2024
Final recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group on scaling up sustainable finance in low-and middle-income countries - executive summary
30 APRIL 2024
Final recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group on scaling up sustainable finance in low-and middle-income countries
19 JUNE 2023
Preliminary findings & recommendations – HLEG sustainable finance
21 JUNE 2022
Terms of Reference - High-Level Expert Group on Scaling up Sustainable Finance in Low and Middle-income countries
5 JULY 2022
Privacy statement - HLEG Sustainable finance