Activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2008: reinforcing economic and democratic stability
- Parliamentary Assembly
debate on 23 June 2009 (21st Sitting) (see Doc. 11938, report of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development,
rapporteur: Mr Martins). Text adopted
by the Assembly on 23 June 2009 (21st Sitting).
1 The Parliamentary
Assembly stresses the continuing validity of the co-operation agreement
signed in 1992 between the Council of Europe and the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as a reference document.
The economic and financial crisis affecting most Council of Europe
member states, in which the EBRD operates, reinforces the topicality
of the present resolution. Both institutions aim at contributing
to democratic stability in European countries on the basis of the
common values of the rule of law and democracy and those of economic
and social development as a foundation of stability.
2 The Assembly is gravely concerned about the effects of the
crisis on the living conditions of the citizens of Council of Europe
member states which benefit from EBRD assistance, particularly in
the Balkans, the Southern Caucasus, Ukraine and Moldova. The Assembly
notes the significant crisis response by the EBRD and considers
that its operations must be further reinforced and adjusted to tackle
the challenges of the crisis.
The Assembly recalls its Resolution 1651 (2009)
on the consequences of the global financial crisis, which
points out that “it is vital that economic solidarity, co-ordination
and co-operation be exercised not only among the Council of Europe
member states and between the industrialised states, but also vis-à-vis
the developing countries”.
4 The Assembly is convinced that the EBRD should step up its
activities in the Council of Europe member states which are in transition
to an open market economy within a democratic framework. The financial
crisis has clearly shown the need for constant monitoring of every
country’s application of the principles of pluralist democracy and
the market economy, in accordance with Article 1 of the Agreement
Establishing the EBRD.
5 The Assembly notes with satisfaction that in 2008 the volume
of EBRD activities increased sharply in the Western Balkan countries.
The Bank’s operations reflected the main elements of each country’s
development strategy, namely support for enterprise, finance and
infrastructure. The Assembly stresses that economic growth also
reflects the results of political stability, which is conducive
to programming the Bank’s medium- to long-term activities.
6 The Assembly notes that the EBRD’s activities in Georgia,
Armenia and Azerbaijan increased considerably in 2008 in the fields
of infrastructure, banking, enterprises, the agro-alimentary industry
and energy. It should nevertheless be stressed that the Southern
Caucasus region still suffers from frozen conflicts and a lack of
real regional co-operation. For example, the armed conflict in August
2008 between Georgia and the Russian Federation in South Ossetia
seriously undermined investor confidence, damaged transport infrastructure
and impacted negatively on the whole region.
7 The Assembly welcomes the fact that the EBRD has intensified
its operations in Moldova to support private enterprise, local banks
and infrastructure. However, growth in this country is set to be
affected by the slump in demand for food exports.
8 Where Ukraine is concerned, the Bank has increased the volume
of its projects, and the country remains the second most important
country in terms of EBRD operations. These projects concern in particular
the industrial sector, the development of national capital markets,
promotion of energy efficiency and infrastructure improvement. However,
the main concern is still the solidity of the banking sector.
9 The Assembly is keenly aware that the EBRD will be facing
real challenges in maintaining and increasing its activities in
2009 and the ensuing years in the Western Balkan region, the Southern
Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, because these countries’
economic growth has experienced a downturn.
10 The Assembly hails the Joint International Financial Institutions
initiative undertaken in 2009 and stresses the importance of improving
co-ordination and co-operation among the EBRD, the International Monetary
Fund, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank in
order to avoid overlapping activities. Such co-operation should
be based on the pre-accession instrument, which also covers the
Western Balkans, the neighbourhood partnership, which covers the
Southern Caucasus, and the agreement on the Investment Facility,
which covers Ukraine and Moldova. The Assembly considers that the
EBRD should continue to increase its efforts aimed at improved regional
co-operation and integration, including in the field of the cross-border
11 The EBRD’s experience in the countries in question, its know-how,
its knowledge of the economic, financial and political realities
and of the national and regional partners and their specific modes
of functioning make this bank the best-placed financial institution
to help the Council of Europe member states concerned to face the
challenges arising from the economic and financial crisis and enable
them to implement lasting democratic development.
The Assembly is convinced that the Council of Europe and the
EBRD could improve their joint activities by complying with the
the co-ordination of efforts for projects conducted by both institutions
in the same countries at local and regional levels, with a dual
democratic and economic strand;
12.2 studying the possibility of preparing and implementing
joint projects with the Council of Europe Development Bank in member
countries where both banks are implementing projects;
12.3 promoting high standards of good governance as a major
12.4 co-operating with the relevant Council of Europe bodies
in preparing joint projects geared to promoting a moral and ethical
code for economic and financial stakeholders and combating corruption and
12.5 ensuring that the EBRD makes greater use of the reports
adopted by the Assembly, particularly those drafted by the Committee
on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of
the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee), in order to reinforce
the principles of the rule of law in the fields of finance and banking
in the countries where the EBRD develops its activities;
12.6 improving national parliaments’ knowledge of the EBRD’s
activities and inviting parliaments of beneficiary countries to
monitor their executives in this context;
12.7 studying joint projects in order to restore citizen confidence
in the democratic functioning of market economy institutions.
13 The Assembly recalls that despite the financial difficulties,
all human, social and economic rights must be respected.