About the EBRD

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is a multilateral development bank headquartered in London. It was founded in 1991 to finance the transition towards “open and democratic market economies” in the post soviet countries from central Europe to Central Asia. In 2012 following the Arab spring the EBRD has expanded its geographical scope and it now also finances project in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (so far in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia).

The EBRD invests about EUR 9 billion annually and is in certain countries a major financier. Like the European Investment Bank it raises its money on the financial markets. Its 66 shareholders (64 countries + the European Union and the EIB) underwrite its investments. Among its shareholders are also the 34 countries where the bank is active.

The EBRD provides loans, equity investments and guarantees for private and public sector projects in the areas of finance, infrastructure, industry and commerce. The EBRD works in close cooperation with other international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the EIB. Despite its mandate  to operate in countries that are “committed to democratic principles” , its focus has been mainly on developing the private sector, enabling privatisation, competition and economic growth. Its track record has been critised by civil society for leaving social and human rights considerations at the margins.

Governance:

The powers of the EBRD are vested in the Board of Governors to which each member appoints a governor, generally its minister of finance. The Board of Governors delegates most powers to the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the EBRD’s strategic direction. The President is elected by the Board of Governors and is the legal representative of the EBRD. Under the guidance of the Board of Directors, the President manages the work of the Bank.

More information about the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development can be found  on its website:

The Bankwatch website gives a good overview of the EBRD, including  a history of the bank and of civil society’s opposition to some of its projects.