The EIB is a public institution driven by the policy objectives of the European Union and their principles of sustainable development, public participation, and accountability. It seeks to promotesustainable and inclusive growth while protecting the natural and social environment in a holistic manner, thereby ensuring that requirements relating to the protection of the environment and human well-being are integrated in the definition, preparation and implementation of all operations financed by the EIB. The EIB also recognises the need for a proactive approach to ensure that environmental and social considerations are taken into account during the early stages of strategic decision-making by promoters so as to have a real influence on the choice of alternative developments. To this end, the EIB promotesthe application of strategic environmental assessment as a tool for identifying and evaluating potential impacts of plans and programmes. The EIB requires the application of the precautionary principle through the mitigation hierarchy in order to promote more sustainable patterns of developments in the regions it operates in. The assessment of environmental and social impacts and risk, including their significance and materiality, as well as the development of adequate management plans and programmes are key tools for achieving sound environmental and social performance. In this respect, all EIB-financed operations shall comply with national legislation and international conventions and agreements ratified by the host Country. In addition, operations within the EU, Candidate and potential Candidate countries must comply with EU horizontal and/or applicable sectoral legislation while the operations outside the EU, candidate and potential Candidate countries must meet best international practice best international practice with regards to the assessment and management of environmental and social impacts and risks, promote good environmental and social governance and align with relevant EU principles and standards.