The EU at the 2019 Annual Meetings

Martin Caudron
Oct 21, 2019 · 4 min read

Here are the top 7 takeaways from the EU’s participation in the 2019 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank 👇

1️. The EU and partners launch the International Platform on Sustainable Finance

Despite considerable momentum for climate action worldwide, a substantial investment gap remains.

To address this situation and further mobilize private finance in support of the transition to a green economy globally, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and partner countries (Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Kenya, Morocco) launched the International Platform on Sustainable Finance on October 18, 2019 at the IMF headquarters in Washington DC, in presence of IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Read the remarks by Vice President Dombrovskis here, and the Joint Statement here.

2️. The EU Bank fully embarks in Paris Alignment

At an event at the Atlantic Council, the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, explained how the EU Bank is rapidly turning into a “climate bank.” From 2013 to 2017, 80% of the bank’s energy lending was devoted to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and modern electricity networks.

This “Paris Alignment” is an imperative for the EIB, as its Vice President Andrew McDowell pointed out: “Climate mitigation and adaptation are going to be the source of the legitimacy of an institution like ours — it’s our new mission for a next generation.” Learn more.

3️. The EU confirms its status as top Ukraine supporter

Since 2014, the EU has allocated €15 billion to support Ukraine’s domestic reform agenda. Not only is the EU the top donor and lender to Ukraine, but Ukraine has been the top third country beneficiary of EU aid in recent years.

Senior EU officials participating in the Annual Meetings confirmed the EU’s support to Ukraine under the presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky, and commended Ukraine for its strong commitment to reforms.

At an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Katarína Mathernová — Deputy Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission — praised Ukraine for its successful progress in reform implementation, in particular when it comes to fighting corruption.

Learn more by listening to our EU NOW Podcast on the EU’s support to Ukraine.

4️. New Brexit deal positive for economic outlook

In the midst of the 2019 Annual Meetings, a new Brexit deal was announced by the European Commission and endorsed by the European Council. The deal now needs to be approved by the House of Commons and the European Parliament. An orderly Brexit would lift a major source of uncertainty surrounding the global economic outlook.

5️. The EU regrets tariff escalation from the U.S.

The decision of the U.S. to come up with countermeasures in the WTO Airbus dispute, in addition to previous tariffs imposed without a valid legal basis, creates additional risks and uncertainty on the economic outlook.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said in a statement that the EU “regret[s] the choice of the US to move ahead with tariffs. This step leaves us no alternative but to follow through in due course with our own tariffs in the Boeing case, where the U.S. has been found in breach of WTO rules.”

On Bloomberg TV, Vice President Dombrovskis said that the EU “would have preferred a negotiated settlement — we’re still open to it — to agree on the rules regarding subsidies in the airlines industries because there are new competitors coming in and it would be in the interest of both the EU and the U.S. to have a clarity on rules instead of having another round of tariff escalation.”

6️. The EU calls for rapid progress on the taxation of the digital sector, under the auspices of the OECD

At the G7 meeting in Biarritz (August 2019), leaders agreed on the need for a coordinated approach to the issue of taxation in the digital sector under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Annual Meetings offered a good opportunity to follow up on that commitment.

To help move this agenda forward, EU officials met with U.S. and other OECD counterparts.

7️. EIB boosts support for women empowerment

At the Annual Meetings, the EIB became the first Multilateral Development Bank to adopt the 2XChallenge, a commitment from the development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 to mobilize $3 billion by 2020 in investments that contribute to women’s economic empowerment in developing countries. Learn more.


Learn more on Twitter: @EUintheUS #EUatAnnualMeetings.

Delegation of the European Union to the United States

Writing from European Union staff on issues of interest to the EU in the United States, with occasional guest posts

Martin Caudron

Written by

Senior Communications Officer at @EUintheUS | Public diplomacy | StratCom | Policy outreach | European in DC

Delegation of the European Union  to the United States

Writing from European Union staff on issues of interest to the EU in the United States, with occasional guest posts

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