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Partnership Structures


A number of partnership structures have evolved over the past 20 years:

Regional consultations. In 1998, the World Bank Group and eight other IFIs signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-financing operations in Central and Eastern Europe. This helped towards ten candidate countries successfully joining the EU in 2004. The MOU has been a ‘blueprint’ for framework agreements that formalize joint objectives and regular dialogue:

  • In Africa, high-level meetings take place each year between the European Commission, WBG and African Development Bank. Priority themes are budget support, public financial management, infrastructure and managing for results.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, dialogue takes place through the Luxembourg Process, which brings together the EC, EIB, WBG and IMF to discuss operational priorities.
  • The WBG’s Europe and Central Asia division has broadened its cooperation to cover the South Caucasus, Central Asia and the Western Balkans.

Trust Funds. The European Commission uses WB-administered TFs as an important channel for aid, especially for implementing global initiatives and assisting in post-crisis situations.

Such contributions are governed by a Framework Agreement originally signed in 2001 between EC President Romano Prodi and World Bank President James Wolfensohn and updated in 2009. Since the original agreement, funding levels increased to between $400m-$600m per year in the mid-2000s and $903m in FY2010. The EC was the third-largest donor to WBG-administered TFs and Financial Intermediary Funds (FIFs) in FY2006-FY2010, next to the UK and US.

Contributions are focused on global issues (eg. health, food security, debt relief), Africa (35% of contributions) and fragile states (30% of contributions). In FY2010, more than half comprised contributions to the Debt Relief Trust Fund (DRTF, previously HIPC TF) and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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Graph: EC Cash Contributions to WBG Trust Funds (Source: World Bank CFP)




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