European Union Institutions
The World Bank Brussels Office manages day-to-day relations of the World Bank Group with the European Union (EU) institutions. These include the European Commission (EC), European External Action Service (EEAS), Council of the European Union and European Parliament headquartered in Brussels, and the European Investment Bank headquartered in Luxembourg. The Brussels office is mandated to handle bilateral relations with Belgium and Luxembourg as well as NATO and works to leverage developing country representations, including the Secretariat of African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP). The Europe and Central Asia Vice Presidency, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction have operational teams and conduct operational work in the office.
The Brussels office also reaches out to the numerous constituencies that gravitate around the EU, including civil society organizations, think tanks, the press corps, the private sector, labor unions, and youth organizations.
The Brussels Office works to deepen the partnership with the EC, EEAS, the EU’s executive branches, which manage important instruments affecting developing countries (e.g. international aid and trade) and the EU’s large European Development Fund (EDF) for ACP Countries (the Tenth EDF is 22.7bn Euros for 2008-2013) . The Brussels team works to help the Operational Vice Presidencies of the World Bank expand ties with their EC counterparts dealing with Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America.
The Office also works to foster dialogue with the European institutions on thematic issues key to development, such as trade, debt relief, education, health, social inclusion and migration where the EC and the EEAS play a leading role on behalf of EU member states, both in terms of policy orientation and implementation. In financial terms, the EC is an important co-financer of World Bank projects and programs, through parallel financing and trust fund (TF) contributions. In 2010, the EC was the third largest contributor globally to World Bank managed TFs with $903M. The Brussels Office monitors closely this relationship and helps carry out these transactions.
In recent years, as the EU has implemented the Lisbon Treaty – which gives extensive codecision rights to the European Parliament – the World Bank has invested time and effort in engaging with MEPs and parliamentary committees relevant to its work. Relations with the Council of the EU have also expanded through the complex set-up of the six-monthly rotating presidencies of member states, as well as through the Council’s new permanent Presidency. The Brussels office is in the process of establishing relations with the new EEAS, which started operations in December 2010. It has also supported the Bank’s effort to strengthen its collaboration with the EIB – as the EU’s financing arm, with which several operational Memoranda of Understanding have been signed.
In addition, the Brussels office also organizes numerous events, conferences, consultation events, expert roundtables, flagship report launches, and media interviews with large numbers of Brussels-based ‘policy-makers’, lobbyists, think-tanks, journalists and others interested in development.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank share common objectives to foster sustainable development, reduce poverty, promote beneficial trade and international investment, and ensure responsible and transparent governance. External and Corporate Relations Europe hosts the World Bank's Paris-based OECD liaison, who facilitates World Bank collaboration with the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Based on its member countries’ experiences and its policy dialogue with non-OECD members, the OECD has developed policy knowledge, standards, and guidelines, which can be of great benefit to World Bank clients. Additionally, OECD peer reviews provide useful monitoring of many World Bank donor countries' policies and efforts in the area of development cooperation.
The World Bank has been a permanent observer in the Development Assistance Committee since its foundation. Collaboration in this field has intensified recently, in particular in the context of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the monitoring of scaled-up aid.
A Joint Statement of Priorities for OECD-World Bank Cooperation was signed on May 30, 2000. The 2000 agreement has helped the OECD and the World Bank to share institutional and policy knowledge, to improve mutual insight into each other’s work and experience.
The Joint Statement was updated on January 28, 2006 to note that the cooperation between the World Bank and the OECD has matured and become well established in a number of areas, including trade, corporate governance, debt management, pensions, taxation, and in the field of development assistance.