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  The role of development banks in Europe 

A study by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, an international consulting firm, examined the methods and effectiveness of the national development banks in Europe for "European Development Finance Institutions" (EDFI). The association has 15 members including OeEB.

Tasks and opportunities for EDFI

The concrete goal of the study was to describe the growing role and tasks of the national development banks in Europe and to highlight opportunities and challenges. Because many national development banks - including OeEB - are under mandate to finance the private sector, this was given special attention.

One of the highest hurdles for local businesses in these countries is the lack of access to financial services. The Dalberg study clearly shows that the private sector is the engine for growth in developing and transitioning economies as well, and that, in doing so, it makes a significant contribution to the reduction in poverty.

EDFI members act in accordance with three principles:
  • They are present where other investors are not (yet).
  • They act as catalysts and their presence prompts the involvement of others.
  • They operate in a sustainable manner because they reduce dependence on aid payments by relying on employment and growth as sustainable sources for financing developing countries and emerging markets through taxes.


According to the study, the 15 specialised European institutions have succeeded in both prompting positive developmental momentum in developing and transitioning countries and enjoying financial success in numerous projects. The requirement that the projects be economically successful has also kept the infusion of capital from national governments at a moderate level; up to now they have represented only a small part of the financial strength of the national development banks.

Third pillar of development cooperation

European countries were also able to credit the work of their national development banks to their progress in achieving the UN-Millennium Development Goals and in part to their respective ODA quotas. The authors of the study summarized by saying that the national development banks have now long established themselves as a third pillar of international development policies along with classical development work and the multilateral development banks.

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