Office for the CEI Fund at the EBRD
The CEI and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), agreed to establish in 1991 an operational link with each other, based on their complementary objectives and functions. The year after, Italy signed an Agreement with the EBRD on the establishment of a CEI Fund to assist the Bank’s countries of operation in Central and Eastern Europe in their economic and social transformation process.
A Secretariat for CEI Projects (later renamed Office for the CEI Fund at the EBRD) was subsequently established by Italy at the EBRD in 1993, based on the Agreement between the EBRD and the CEI with the purpose of carrying out activities of pre-investment capacity building for the identification, promotion and appraisal of projects in the CEI region, as well as activities related to project implementation.
By placing part of its team in London within the EBRD Official Co-financing Unit, the CEI has managed to build up a special comparative advantage vis-à-vis other funds. Most significantly, this advantage lies in the close cooperation that the CEI staff can have with the EBRD banking teams. This vicinity allows the CEI to better choose projects, thereby ensuring high leverage ratios, greater effectiveness, and efficiency in the delivery of its work. The noteworthy degree of access to information through EBRD systems, and the availability of specific banking and other training within the EBRD, are additional factors adding to the effectiveness of the Office's work. This cooperation also grants the CEI with higher visibility, and allows the Office for the CEI Fund at the EBRD to develop better coordination and establish successful partnerships.