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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 19 September 2012

Press statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle, following his meeting with Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and the new President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti, met today in Brussels. In their discussions they agreed on the need to further increase the close cooperation both at the strategic and the operational level in the field between the two organisations in the enlargement and neighbourhood area.

President Chakrabarti shared the priorities for his presidency with the Commissioner and discussed on-going issues of mutual interest, as well as highlighting the important role that the EBRD has in cooperation with the Neighbourhood.

"During our meeting, I confirmed that the EBRD is a key partner for us in mitigating the impact of the financial crisis in our partner countries and particularly those in the enlargement area. Based on its experience over the last 20 years, EBRD has a specific role to play in supporting private sector development and job creation." Commissioner Füle said.

Commissioner Füle and President Chakrabarti discussed the EBRD's operations in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, which have recently started.

"It is important to continue working towards the expansion of the Bank’s activities in the Mediterranean region, notably with a view to creating employment opportunities, while ensuring such expansion is not to the detriment of the other countries within its mandate. The EU has strongly supported the EBRD's approach, including by providing early grant financing for the EBRD to prepare projects, and I was glad to hear that the EBRD Board has recently decided on the first major operations in the region. We agreed that close coordination of all donors in the region is important in order to respond effectively to the important challenges" Commissioner Füle said.

Commissioner Füle also raised the potential membership of Kosovo in the EBRD, reiterating the EU view that Kosovo's socio-economic development would be enhanced through such membership.


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