The FINANCIAL — The OSCE and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed on December 7 in Vienna to deepen their cooperation and establish a strategic partnership to promote good governance, connectivity and economic development.
The agreement was formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, Vuk Žugić, and the EBRD Managing Director for Economics, Policy and Governance, Mattia Romani.
The MoU, signed on the margins of the 24th OSCE Ministerial Council, aims at leveraging the respective competences, mandates and institutional capacities for a more effective support the OSCE-participating states and partners for cooperation, according to the EBRD.
As the largest regional organisation dealing with security the OSCE considers good economic governance as one of the main pillars of its comprehensive approach to stability and sustainable development. With over 3,500 staff and 16 field operations, the OSCE works closely with state authorities and civil society actors to foster cooperation and dialogue for more secure societies in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space.
“We consider the EBRD to be an essential partner in light of the similar operational focus in promoting well-governed, environmental friendly and inclusive economies,” said Mr Žugić.
Fostering transparency and accountability to enhance the business environment, promoting the fight against corruption and supporting the economic empowerment of vulnerable groups, including women and youth, are some of the axes of cooperation between the two organisations included in the agreement.
“Our signing today is only a small symbolic step of what we hope will be an impactful, wide-ranging and long lasting cooperation with the OSCE focused on concrete steps that will assist our countries in their transition journey,” said Mr Romani.
The MoU builds on previous joint initiatives aimed at improving anti-corruption measures in Albania through the capacity-building of the national School of Public Administration, the mobilisation of the business sector to strengthen anti-bribery practices as well as the enhancement of the capacities of civil society actors in regards to their public oversight role.
The EBRD is a multilateral development bank owned by 66 countries as well as the EU and the EIB. Most of the countries in which the EBRD invests are OSCE-participating states or partners for cooperation. The Bank’s investments are aimed at making the economies in its regions competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green and integrated.