chapter  3
The EU at the World Bank: Institutional and Policy Performance
WithEugenia Baroncelli
Pages 14

Notwithstanding the fact that the European Union (EU) collectively is the world’s largest provider of development aid as well as a major contributor to the World Bank, very little research has been produced on the EU’s performance in the major multilateral agency for development at institutional and policy levels (headquarters and field delegations).1 Such a gap stands in stark contrast to the enhanced role that both the EU and the World Bank have come to play in development policies during the past ten years, through their support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their repeated calls for an urgent improvement of aid effectiveness (European Commission. 2009a; World Bank 2002-2009). In addition, renewed emphasis on scaling up aid contributions, in combination with a growing number of donors, has increased the risk of institutional fragmentation, stressing the need for donors to better coordinate their actions. It is within this context that assessing the unity and effectiveness of EU member states (hereinafter MS) at and the Bank’s Board

stands out as a crucial step forward in understanding such governancerelated challenges. Furthermore, how well does the EU allocate and spend its aid money when channeled through the World Bank? What is the impact of the EU’s overall contribution (political leverage and financial resources) to the World Bank’s managed programs? Coupling the conceptual framework on performance provided in the introductory article with available research on EU-World Bank relations (Baroncelli 2008, 2009a, 2009b, 2011), this article seeks to answer these questions, and thus contribute to filling in a gap in the existing literature. As such, it focuses specifically on the performance of the EU at the Bank, although some references are also made to its relations with the Bank in partner countries.2