European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Central European Initiative (CEI) recently celebrated 25 years of collaborative efforts.
The CEI Fund was established by Italy at the EBRD in April 1992.
The cooperative effort has led to CEI grants of $47 million for technical projects. It also enabled approximately $5.7 billion in international investments in the central, eastern and southeastern Europe (CESEE) region.
The integration efforts continue to benefit the CEI member states as they transition into the European Union (EU). Over the next year, the CEI Fund will also focus on non-EU CEI members such as the Western Balkans and Ukraine. While connectivity is the top goal, it will also provide assistance in agribusiness, energy efficiency, infrastructure and transportation.
“The CEI Fund at the EBRD not only offers resources for technical assistance in support of the EBRD’s investments, but the fruitful partnership between the CEI and the EBRD also provides a platform for policy dialogue with its member countries," CEI Programme Manager Guido Paolucci said in a press release. "This collaboration helps to strengthen the Bank’s role in the CEI member countries and provides opportunities for targeted investments. In this way, the CEI helps to boost the strong role the EBRD plays in the CEI member countries, not just through its investments but also as a catalyst for other investors.”