The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development moves one step closer to expanding its support for the Arab spring with the July 29 recommendation by its Board of Directors to extend the bank’s operations to promote the development of the private sector in the southern and eastern Mediterranean.
The move follows requests from EBRD’s shareholders Egypt and Morocco to become the bank’s recipient countries. The bank’s Board of Directors also recommended approval of Tunisia’s membership application.
The bank has estimated that it could invest up to €2.5 billion ($3.6 billion) a year in the region without additional funds from shareholders. It also stressed that any eventual expansion to the Arab spring will not detract it from its commitments to the 29 countries wherein it currently operates.
EBRD’s Board of Governors will now decide on said recommendations in two months, along with several other resolutions for the bank to start activities in the extended region. Afterward, the bank’s 61 shareholders, which include the European Union and the European Investment Bank, will need to ratify some of the proposals.