The EU and World Bank Group
A strong and wide-ranging partnership has developed between the World Bank Group (WBG) and the EU institutions, including the European Commission, EU Council, European Parliament and European Investment Bank (EIB).
EU-WBG cooperation. The 28 EU Member States are major shareholders and partners in the work of the WBG. They account for nearly one-third of shares in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and half of contributions to the International Development Association (IDA). Dialogue and partnership is also crucial at the common EU level. In areas ranging from development cooperation and international trade to agriculture and energy policy, EU members have pooled their sovereignty and decisionmaking in ways that influence European citizens and the world at large. The WBG cooperates closely with the EU institutions to promote shared goals such as reducing global poverty and shifting economies onto environmentally sustainable growth paths.
Areas of partnership. The partnership has deepened in recent years, including in the following areas:
Aid coordination. In 2011 the European Commission implemented a development cooperation budget of some €12.3bn. The WBG is in constant dialogue with relevant EC departments to ensure joined-up and effective action at HQ and field level. A key focus has been moving towards upstream programming consultations that maximize the principles of aid effectiveness.
Financing relationship. EU members contribute to IDA through their national budgets rather than the common EU budget, but a section of the latter is channeled through WBG-administered Trust Funds. These typically pool the resources of multiple donors to achieve enhanced impact and promote coherence in global development assistance, as well as to push the global agenda on emerging issues such as disaster risk reduction.
Policy dialogue. The EU institutions have joint or exclusive competence alongside member states on trade, agriculture, energy and other policy areas. Frequent dialogue and workshops take place on aspects that relate to international development. In its role supporting developing country governments, the WBG helps ensure the supply-side response that can take advantage of improved EU market access.
Global public goods. The EU and WBG work together to promote global public goods. This requires actions that go beyond what market systems or individual countries can do on their own. Areas of focus include environmental protection; control of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS; and preventing or mitigating crises in the international financial system.
The Brussels office of the World Bank Group exists to facilitate and deepen cooperation of this kind.