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The EU and World Bank Group


The EU member states are major shareholders and partners in the work of the World Bank Group, accounting for nearly one-third of shares in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
 and half of contributions to the International Development Association (IDA). At the same time, a strong and wide-ranging partnership has developed between the WBG and the EU institutions, including the European Commission, EU Council, European Parliament and European Investment Bank. These exercise important competencies in development cooperation, international trade, agriculture, commercial policy and other areas that impact upon the Millennium Development Goals.

Areas of partnership include:

  • Aid coordination. In 2009 the European Commission implemented a development cooperation budget of some €10bn. 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.

  • 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 promote cooperation of this kind.




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