Belgium was among the 28 governments that founded the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development — the World Bank — on Dec. 31, 1945. Today, Belgium is a member of the five institutions that form the World Bank Group.
The Belgium desk at the World Bank Brussels office works to promote consensus around the international development agenda and build a platform for collaboration between the World Bank Group and Brussels. It does this by promoting better understanding of the World Bank Group’s mission and activities and by building relationships with key stakeholders such as government, legislators, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, and the media.
It also supports outreach activities, often in collaboration with Belgian partners, such as organizing and supporting conferences, seminars, and other events on development-related topics. The office serves as an entry point for groups in Belgium wishing to contact World Bank staff across the world or access the plethora of information the Bank publishes, and it responds to media queries. It also seeks to increase opportunities for collaboration between Belgium and the World Bank Group through co-financing, trust funds, and joint analytical work in sectors and regions of mutual interest.
World Bank Governor
Finance Minister Koen Geens represents Belgium on the World Bank Board of Governors, the Bank’s senior decision-making body. The governors, usually ministers of finance or development, meet twice a year. They have the power to admit and suspend members of the World Bank Group, increase or decrease the authorized capital stock, determine the distribution of the net income of the Bank, and decide on the World Bank Group’s overall strategic direction. Luc Coene, governor of the National Bank of Belgium, serves as alternate governor.
World Bank Executive Director
The governor delegates responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day business of Belgium’s interests at the Bank to the executive director (ED) for Belgium. EDs reside in Washington and normally meet twice a week to decide on borrowing and financial questions, projects, and policies that impact World Bank Group general operations. Belgium’s representation on the Boards of IBRD, IFC, IDA, and MIGA is shared with Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Turkey. Gino Alzetta is the ED representing Belgium on the 25-member World Bank Board of Executive Directors, and Sefa Pamuksuz (Turkey) is the alternate executive director.
Shares and Voting Power
The World Bank Group has a weighted system of voting. All members of the Bank receive votes consisting of share votes (one vote for each share of the Bank's capital stock held by the member) plus basic votes (calculated so that the sum of all basic votes is equal to 5.55% of the sum of basic votes and share votes for all members). The voting power distribution differs from agency to agency within the World Bank Group.