EBRD and EU intensify cooperation through new partnership agreement

By Volker Ahlemeyer

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  • EBRD President Renaud-Basso and European Commissioner Urpilainen sign Financial Framework Partnership Agreement
  • EBRD and EU step up their close cooperation and longstanding partnership
  • New financial support for MSMEs in Central Asia and Mongolia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are stepping up their cooperation through a new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso and European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen signed the Agreement in Brussels, which establishes the basis for the two organisations’ future cooperation. Common priorities currently include support for Ukraine’s economy, infrastructure and citizens’ everyday lives, developing low-carbon green economies, accelerating the digital transition and providing equal economic and employment opportunities across 38 economies.

The two partner institutions have a large portfolio of common development operations on three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. It spans from support for women-led businesses in Morocco to waste management projects in Mongolia and from policy dialogue initiatives in Estonia to building Africa’s largest windfarm in Egypt.

The EBRD President and the European Commissioner also launched two new projects which will support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Central Asia. An EBRD programme amounting to €28.6 million includes €5.3 million in EU funds and will serve to provide access to finance and know-how to MSMEs in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Furthermore, in Mongolia, a €43 million EBRD programme includes up to €11.5 million in EU funds and will help businesses to become more resilient to economic shocks and crises.

The EU, alongside all member states and the EIB, is a shareholder and founding member of the EBRD. It has been the largest donor to the Bank’s projects, contributing up to 40 per cent of total donor funds since the Bank’s inception, with up to €500 million per year.

“We enjoy a strong partnership with the European Union that is built on shared values and shared priorities,” says EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso. “I am proud of and thankful for the EU’s continued support for the EBRD as a key partner of the European Financial Architecture for Development, which has already helped to improve the lives of millions of people in emerging and developing economies and, more recently, enabled us to respond swiftly to the war on Ukraine.” 

Commissioner Urpilainen said: “The EBRD is one of our key allies in rolling out the EU’s Global Gateway strategy – our €300 billion investment in digital, green, health and education infrastructure. Its experience, presence on the ground and expertise – particularly on private sector development – make it an exceptional partner for advancing Global Gateway in our partner countries, as Team Europe. Today’s new agreement covers all types of blending operations, including financial instruments. It will enable us to make an even bigger difference for our partners and their citizens.”

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