World Bank: ECA Regional Operations Hub
The World Bank Vienna office has developed into an effective regional operations hub for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) with most managers and technical staff based in Vienna.
Western Balkans CMU (ECCWB)
The Country Director for the Western Balkans who oversees the Bank’s programs in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, is also based in Vienna and leads the office as well as the dialogue with the Government of Austria.
Temporary Location of the Ukraine Team
Following the evacuation of World Bank Group Ukraine staff to Vienna in February 2022, meeting rooms in the Vienna office were converted into shared spaces to host WBG staff and managers from Ukraine.
Austria-Financed Programs based in Vienna
Investment Climate Vienna Office
The Investment Climate Program was originally established to deliver targeted investment promotion activities to attract foreign direct investors to the Western Balkans. With its close relationship with the region, rooted in shared history, Austria is considered a lead investor in the Western Balkans. Since its establishment in 2004, the program continuously expanded its thematic scope and geographic coverage. Today, the Investment Climate Program serves as a specialized center of expertise for integrated investment climate and business environment solutions for clients in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.
Centre for Financial Reporting (CFRR)
The Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) supports financial management advisory, public sector accounting, and corporate financial reporting reforms in the ECA region. The work includes regional capacity building and peer learning programs, country-level technical assistance projects as well as diagnostic and analytical work. For the last 15 years, CFRR has helped over 24 countries across ECA to bolster economic growth and attract private sector investment through transparent and accountable financial reporting. Through various regional programs, and country programs, CFRR has made a major impact in the ECA region over the years by disseminating over 130 publications, conducting over 300 workshops, and training over 53,000 professionals. CFRR has also extended its global reach and is currently also helping to support accounting professionals in Africa.
Financial Sector Advisory Center (FinSAC)
Following the global financial crisis, the Financial Sector Advisory Center (FinSAC) was established with the aim to strengthen banking supervision, bank resolution, and financial sector crisis management. FinSAC supports eligible ECA countries through bilateral technical assistance; knowledge sharing workshops, seminars and conferences; and regional policy-oriented analytical work. FinSAC cooperates closely with a wide range of external partners including the European Commission, European Central Bank, European Banking Authority, universities as well as the Austrian authorities – Ministry of Finance, National Bank, and Financial Market Authority.
Danube Water Program (DWP)
In 2013, the Danube Water Program (DWP) jointly run by the World Bank and International Association of Water Service Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD) was launched. Together with local, national and regional stakeholders, the program works on achieving smart policies, strong utilities, and sustainable water services, and a water-secure and resilient Danube region. The Program spans sixteen countries, with eleven target countries eligible for funding: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Since its launch, more than 1,200 sector professionals have benefited from cross-country capacity building, eight different training programs for water utility personnel have been developed offered in 11 countries with more than 430 utility staff trained, and more than 45 reviews of water sector regulation and policy have been conducted, with countries benefitting directly from World Bank advisory and analytical services.
GovTech Global Partnership (GTGP)
GTGP was established in 2019. Based on the public-sector approach GovTech, the partnership program aims towards the modernizing and digitalization of government. It supports work in the ECA region through its global public goods, knowledge transfer, and capacity building agenda. The GTGP is a multi-stakeholder partnership involving advanced and aspiring GovTech countries, development partners, private sector, academia and civil society, and others.
ECA Cities and Climate Change Program
In 2022, the Europe and Central Asia Cities and Climate Change Program was launched with the objective to support client countries’ aim to address urban climate change mitigation and adaption challenges – thereby helping to support the Bank’s alignment with the Paris Agreement.
Green Recovery Program for the Western Balkans
Also launched in 2022, this Program is centered around environmental fiscal policy and regulatory reform. Its initial focus on proposing integrated approaches to air quality management has been expanded to include mainstreaming resilience in natural resource management, blue economy and circular economy.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) Regional Hub
For IFC, the Vienna office is the de facto operational hub for the Europe Region, hosting the Regional Director and core teams from each IFC Industry operating in the region. From Vienna, IFC oversees mostly programs in the field of climate-relevant urban development, green infrastructure, and green finance.