The CFRR was set up 2007 in Vienna to provide expert advice, implementation support, and capacity development in the area of corporate financial reporting reform. It offers a range of services to partner countries including diagnostics and publications, country-specific technical and help desk assistance, regional knowledge sharing and peer learning activities, as well as partnerships with international institutions and stakeholders.
From the Vienna office, the Country Director for Southeast Europe leads the management of the World Bank's lending program and analytical work in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, to support their economic development and preparation for eventual European Union membership.
Almost 40 ongoing investment projects, worth about $1.7 billion overall in World Bank loans, help address development needs in areas such as transport, energy, environment, health, education, and social protection. Economic analysis and policy advice, based on the World Bank's global reach and experience, also constitute an integral part of the Group's engagement in the countries of Southeast Europe.
The Danube Water Program supports policy dialogue and capacity development activities to achieve smart policies, strong utilities, and sustainable services in the water supply and wastewater sector in the Danube Region. The Program is jointly run by the World Bank and the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD), with seed financing from the Government of Austria.
Drawing on the lessons for hands-on technical assistance needs from the 2008 financial crisis that engulfed Southeast Europe, the World Bank, with Austria's Ministry of Finance financial support, decided to establish the Financial Sector Advisory Center (FinSAC). Its mandate covers interventions in four distinct areas, namely (a) macro-financial stability, (b) micro-prudential regulation and supervision, (c) bank recovery and resolution, and (d) financial consumer protection and financial literacy. Its team of financial sector specialists manages interventions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Website: www.worldbank.org/finsac
Investment Climate Department
The Vienna office of the Investment Climate Department provides assistance in the areas of investment policy, international trade, and business taxation to partner countries throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as the Middle East and North Africa. The office implements investment climate projects, facilitates knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer learning activities, and contributes to the Department’s global research and knowledge management agenda.
Through knowledge exchange, peer learning, and city partnerships, the Urban Partnership Program strengthens the capacity of local governments in Southeast Europe to more effectively manage urban development for inclusive and sustainable growth. Key areas include municipal finance, urban planning and land management, governance and anti-corruption, leadership development, and social accountability and sustainability. Supported by the Austrian Government, the program is implemented jointly with the Network of Associations of Local Authorities in Southeast Europe.