European Commission and World Bank Group renew agreement to strengthen development cooperation

European bank

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission and the World Bank Group have today signed a Financial Framework Partnership Agreement, which guides the terms under which the Bank Group will use funding from the European Union to implement development projects across the world.

Building on the partners’ longstanding cooperation, the agreement will encourage economic growth and digital development, create jobs, reinforce skills, provide support to fragile and conflict affected states, fight climate change and address gender inequalities around the world. In addition, the agreement will help accelerate the partners’ joint response to COVID-19, including support to small and medium businesses in emerging economies.

Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for the Budget and Administration, said: “Over the years, the European Commission and the World Bank Group have together helped millions of people around the world live better lives. With today’s agreement, we are equipping ourselves with a more renewed toolbox to more effectively address today’s more numerous and more complex global challenges.”

Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director for Operations, said: “COVID-19 has added a new layer of complexity to the challenges faced by our client countries. Our partnership with the European Commission is now more important than ever as we work together to end extreme poverty, increase shared prosperity, and improve the lives of millions of people around the world.”

For the period 2015–2019, the European Union contributed €2.07 billion (US$2.34 billion equivalent) to Bank Group trust funds–including the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)–to strengthen country outcomes around the world.

Examples include development projects in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Turkey, Somalia, and the Sahel, as well as support for global partnerships such as the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, which helps developing countries better understand and reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change.

This agreement marks a new milestone in our long-standing partnership with the European Commission,” said Philippe Le Houérou Chief Executive Officer of IFC. “We look forward to expanding this collaboration in new areas, including to promote policy reforms that help bring in the private sector to solve development challenges in emerging markets.”

In Ukraine, IFC partnered with the European Commission and other development actors to help the government reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions in the residential housing sector.

“This is an historic occasion bringing all World Bank Group entities together with the European Commission,” said Hiroshi Matano, Executive Vice President of MIGA. “MIGA has long recognized the value of trust funds, which enhance our efforts to support challenging situations and are often difficult to serve through our traditional products.”

The European Commission’s support has also helped MIGA extend its development impact to conflict-affected and fragile situations, and to projects in Africa, which benefitted from the agency’s environmental and social expertise.

Background

The European Commission and the World Bank Group first signed a framework agreement in 2001. The new cooperation agreement is an update and expansion of a previous agreement dating from 2016 and sets out the modalities through which the two organisations partner. The Financial Framework Partnership Agreement enables the parties to enter into a long-term cooperation that involves innovative instruments and cements the relationship with mature partners such as the World Bank Group.

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