The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) seeks to develop the private sector in the former east bloc countries and also, since 2012, the countries on Europe’s southernmost border.

Switzerland is an active member of the Board of Directors and also implements development projects in conjunction with the EBRD.

Handshake between Ambassador Raymund Furrer and EBRD First VP Jürgen Rigterink in Berne in 2019.
Ambassador Raymund Furrer and First VP Jürgen Rigterink sign a project agreement at the SECO-EBRD Partnership Meeting in Berne, in June 2019.

Role and activities of the EBRD

The EBRD was established after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its mission is to support transition in the countries formerly under Soviet influence in their efforts towards democracy and a market economy. Following the Arab Spring, the EBRD extended its mandate to a number of North African countries.

The EBRD’s activities are mainly directed at strengthening the private sector. It does this by supporting businesses in a wide variety of sectors by way of loans, guarantees and investing in equity capital. A third of the EBRD’s activities are devoted to reducing the carbon footprint of recipient countries.

Switzerland campaigns for the EBRD to replicate project approaches that have proven successful.

Switzerland and the EBRD

Switzerland has been a member of the EBRD since the establishment of the Bank in 1991 and has one member on the Board of Directors. The Swiss Director heads the constituency also comprising Ukraine, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein, Montenegro and Turkmenistan. Through its direct representation on the Board of Directors, Switzerland actively participates in the EBRD’s institutional and strategic decisions, thereby fulfilling its supervisory function as a shareholder.

Swiss objectives for cooperation with the EBRD

Apart from institutional cooperation on the Board of Directors, Switzerland and the EBRD cooperate on development projects. Switzerland’s main focus is on the following areas:

  • infrastructure projects in relation to water and waste management and
  • projects for strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises and local financial institutions.


Last modification 19.01.2022

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