20th anniversary of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) celebrates its 20th anniversary on 15 April 2011. Since it began its work in 1991, the Bank has played a key role in the economic transformation of a region that spreads from the Baltics to Mongolia, through central and eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union and most recently to Turkey.

With its investments, the EBRD has reached out to broad sections of the economies in its region, with the primary aim of promoting a sustainable market economy that can provide higher standards of living and greater prosperity. As an example, it has committed over €60 billion to support the modernisation of economies and the development of the private sectors in the mentioned countries. In addition, the EBRD mobilised third party-financing to facilitate overall investments worth a total of nearly €180 billion.

While providing support for the development of micro, small and medium sized enterprises that create employment, it has sought to bolster financial sectors. By far the largest proportion of its investments have been with the private sector, but the EBRD has also made an important contribution to providing better municipal services to cities and towns throughout the region, improving the transport infrastructure and raising standards of the provision of water and other utilities.

Moreover, one key strand in all EBRD investments has been an emphasis on meeting the highest environmental standards and also preserving energy resources in a region where energy waste has long been and remains an endemic problem. The EBRD remains committed to its engagement throughout the region, ready to meet continuing challenges even in the more advanced economies, some of whom were hit particularly hard during the global economic crisis.