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Italy and the EBRD


Italy and the EBRD

bers board of governors plenary session1

AGM EBRD - Amman, Jordan 2018


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an international financial institution created in 1991 whose aim is “to foster the transition towards open market-oriented economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in the Central and Eastern European countries committed to and applying the principles of multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economics” (Art. 1 of the EBRD’s statute). The EBRD collaborates with other international finance institutions and follows a project-based model, funding projects or investments, granting loans and guarantees, and acquiring shareholdings. Its model is commercial: its loans are issued at market interest rates and sound banking is one of the three principles regulating all its operations. (The other two are transition impact and additionality).

The EBRD differs from other multilateral regional development banks in the marked political dimension of its mandate: its support of economic transition in the countries where it operates is conditional on the presence of a democratic regime based on pluralism and the respect of human rights. An integral part of the Bank’s activities is the verification of these countries’ adherence to these principles, on the basis of a political methodology approved by the bank’s board of directors.

Uniquely among multilateral development banks, the EBRD’s Statute requires it to prioritise the private sector, stipulating that no more than 40% of the Bank's total portfolio may be accounted for by public-sector projects.

The EBRD’s areas of operation generally include the Commonwealth of Independent States, central Asia, the Baltics, central Europe and the Balkans. After the Arab Spring in 2010, and with the endorsement of the G8 heads of state and government, following their meeting at Deauville in May 2011, the Bank extended its geographic mandate to include the south-east Mediterranean (SEMED). Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are now among the Bank’s shareholders and countries of operation and will soon be joined by Lebanon. The Bank suspended its activities in Russia in July 2014, upon the request of its major western shareholders, although it has retained contacts with existing clients in the country and continues to manage its pre-existing portfolio there. In 2014 and 2015 the Bank also engaged in short-term operations in Cyprus and Greece.

Italy is one of the EBRD's founding countries. The EBRD plays a key role in Italian interests, as its projects are among Italy’s most important trade and foreign-investment initiatives. Apart from being a major shareholder in the Bank, with an 8.52% holding, Italy is also one of its biggest donors. Italy also contributes to the Bank’s work by supporting the Technical Cooperation Funds Programme (TCFP), a technical-assistance programme aimed at maximising the impact of the Bank's activities. Thirty donor countries and agencies participate in the TCFP programme. Italy participates in it through the Italian Technical Cooperation Fund and the Central European Initiative Technical Cooperation Fund (of which Italy is the only donor) as well as through the Italian Cooperation Fund for Private Sector Development in the Western Balkans (ICF-PSD), which supports development in the private sector, particularly in the fields of finance and energy and in small municipalities, in the western Balkans.

Italy has also made significant contributions to the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP), a project run by the EBRD to make the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident safe by enclosing the reactor in a giant arch-shaped structure termed the New Safe Confinement (NSC). The project began in November 2016, just over 30 years after the disaster, and was completed at the end of 2017.

The 2017 AGM was held on 9-11 May in Nicosia, Cyprus, and consolidated the strategic plans for the Bank’s activities and investments, which focus on environmental sustainability and the strengthening of political dialogue. The board also implemented the Bank’s inclusion strategy and confirmed the list of six qualities (inclusiveness, eco-compatibility, resilience, competitiveness, integration and good-governance) that was drafted following the recent update of the description of characteristics of the transition towards a more complete market economy.

In particular, the Bank has increased support for projects that contribute to the so-called “Green Economy Transition”, a move towards greater sustainability. The Bank’s investments in this sector amounted to €4.1bn at the end of 2017, covering 187 projects in 18 countries, saving an estimated 6.3m tons of CO2 emissions (as opposed to 5m tons the previous year).

As of December 2017, the loans granted by the EBRD totalled €41.5bn, the top recipients being Turkey (€7.28bn), Ukraine (€4.08bn) and Russia (€2.83bn).


Governor: Giovanni Tria
Alternate Governor: Gelsomina Vigliotti
Director: Filippo Giansante
Alternate Director: Massimo Carnelos

For more information about the EBRD and Italy’s role in it: -