Internationalism ‘not spent force’, says EBRD president

1 Sep 16

Internationalism is not a spent force but a crucial response to global economic challenges, according to the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


In a speech given yesterday to the Serbian National Parliament, Sir Suma Chakrabarti referred to internationalism as the “notion that nation states should aspire to deeper cooperation for the greater good of all”.

He said that economic integration was one of the most effective vehicles for advancing the cause of internationalism and was a strategic priority for the EBRD.

 “We see economic integration as a powerful force promoting efficient markets and reform,” he confirmed.

Nations should not seek to slow the momentum toward integration at a time when economies around the world faced numerous, diverse challenges. “For many of these challenges, we regard deeper economic integration as a key part of the solution, not the problem.”

He referred specifically to the low growth among EBRD regions as they struggle to emerge from the global financial crisis.

The EBRD’s investments support the transition to a market economy in 36 countries across three continents, including Morocco, Mongolia, Estonia and Egypt.

He noted that economic integration following the Second World War had “spurred the reconstruction of western Europe”, and observed that many former communist countries in central Europe were drawn toward the European Union.

The same is true today for the countries of the Western Balkans, where the president has backed greater integration and encouraged greater regional economic cooperation. He said that “Serbia has committed itself to a European path and we at the EBRD are doing everything in our power to help speed its journey”.

Chakrabarti has been president of the EBRD since 2012. He was previously permanent secretary at the British Ministry of Justice, and before that headed the UK’s Department for International Development.

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