Jordan and Tunisia have become members of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as part of the process of becoming recipients of EBRD investments.
Both countries sought membership of the EBRD in 2011, saying that they believed EBRD support would play an important role in helping to implement their programmes of economic and political reform.
Jordan and Tunisia now join Egypt and Morocco as EBRD shareholders in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, with Egypt and Morocco being founder members when the Bank was established in 1991.
All four countries are the target of support under the Deauville Partnership that was launched under the French presidency of the G-8 in May 2011 in response to the historic changes under way in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
Responding to a call by the international community, the EBRD is extending the remit of its activities to include the southern and eastern Mediterranean region in a three-stage process that has already seen the first flow of technical assistance funded by grants from donors.
Technical cooperation funds prepare the way for future EBRD funding, while the second stage in the process, expected in 2012, would be the creation of a special fund that would permit the start of EBRD investments in the four countries ahead of their becoming countries of operations.
The EBRD is aiming to apply the experience it has built up in supporting the transition process in central and eastern Europe and central Asia over the last two decades, bringing to bear its particular focus on promoting the development of the private sector.
The EBRD has the capacity to invest, in the medium term, up to €2.5 billion a year across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Any decision by shareholders to begin full-scale investments will take into account political and economic reforms undertaken in the relevant countries.