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We recognize the importance of the local knowledge, technical expertise, and innovative ideas and solutions to local problems that civil society organisations (CSOs) can contribute to our projects, policies, and strategies. We engage in dialogue with a variety of CSOs, ranging from those involved in environmental and social issues to those concerned with promoting transparency and accountability, human rights and democracy.
Since the EBRD was established in 1991 to foster open and democratic market economies from central Europe to central Asia, the Bank has set up and maintained an ongoing and constructive dialogue with NGOs and other CSOs across the region.
In the Bank's early years, our interaction with CSOs was largely limited to responding to written comments by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Over the years, we have started proactively consulting with a variety of civil society stakeholders, including NGOs, women's groups, faith-based organisations, think-tanks, business development associations and academic institutions. The Bank’s environmental and social experts and bankers regularly meet with affected local communities and civil society groups in relation to ongoing EBRD-financed projects, our major policies and strategies for individual countries and sectors.
In 2000, the Civil Society Programme was founded as part of the Annual Meeting in order to provide a forum for NGOs and other CSOs to directly engage with EBRD representatives regarding specific issues about the Bank’s activities.
The creation in 2001 of a dedicated Civil Society Engagement Unit, which is primarily responsible for fostering relations between civil society and the Bank, indicates the strengthening of this commitment and engagement with a broader range of CSOs.
The Public Information Policy (PIP) covers our commitment to transparency and accountability. In line with the PIP, registered CSOs are systematically informed about the release of draft policies, country and sectoral strategies and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for Category A projects and are invited to send comments to the Bank and our clients.
EBRD provides relevant information and engages in a dialogue with civil society organisations in order to better respond to public expectations and improve public knowledge regarding our projects, strategies, and policies.
This extensive interaction between the EBRD and CSOs has made a significant contribution to improving the quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of our activities across the region.
The Bank’s engagement with civil society is coordinated and facilitated by the dedicated Civil Society Engagement (CSE) Unit and involves a wide range of mechanisms for dialogue and information exchange.
The CSE Unit seeks to effectively address the issues and concerns raised by CSOs and handle their information requests in a reliable, comprehensive, and consistent manner in coordination with relevant EBRD banking and other relevant teams.
The Unit is responsible for the organisation of numerous consultation meetings between Bank officials and CSOs that occur throughout the years both in London and in the Bank’s countries of operations.
To learn more about the EBRD’s civil society relations, please visit Working with us section of the web site.
Last updated 18 June 2010