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Belgium revises competences for IFI

Chris Simoens
01 February 2017
The international financial institutions (IFI) - including the World Bank group and the regional development banks - represent shared competence for the Belgian ministers for Development Cooperation and Finance. A recent Royal Decree (5 December 2016) has given the situation more clarity. The following three amendments have been made.

 

1. The ministers for Development Cooperation and Finance will now exercise joint authority in the World Bank group.

In practice, this means that Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo and Minister for Finance Johan Van Overtveldt are both competent for both the representation of Belgium in the World Bank group, and for the management of the budget for the World Bank group. The Minister for Finance remains a Governor of the World Bank group, and the Minister for Development Cooperation will become an Alternate Governor.

The Minister for Development Cooperation will acquire more control at the level of representation. For example from 1 July 2017, he will nominate the Belgian representative for the International Development Association (IDA). IDA – a division of the World Bank group - provides credit and donations to low-income countries. The Belgian representative can help direct the policy of the IDA from the perspective of the Belgian development policy.

The Minister for Development Cooperation will now also help select positions for the two Belgian representatives at the World Bank. Both positions will be filled alternately by Finance and Development Cooperation.

 

2. The loans for the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Development Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will now be part of the Finance budget.

These loans will be managed entirely by the Minster for Finance, without involvement from the Minister for Development Cooperation. Budget discussions were previously held in joint consultation between the two ministers. Finance will also be responsible for representation at the two institutions.

 

3. The African Development Bank and the African Development Fund will become the full responsibility of Development Cooperation.

As such, Development Cooperation will acquire the representation for both the budget for the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund. This is logical, given the focus of Belgian development policy on Africa.

The Minister for Development Cooperation will become Governor for Belgium at the African Development Bank. He will now be able to nominate the Belgian representative at the African Bank. The Minister for Finance will become Alternate Governor.

The building of the World Bank.
© The World Bank/Simone D. McCountie
World Bank Governance IMF Belgian Development Cooperation