Watch this video on the strange story of the Bank that wanted to save the East

A historical perspective on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as it celebrates its twentieth birthday and agrees a move into the newly-liberated countries of North Africa

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) can look back at 20 years of development activities in former Soviet Bloc countries.

Now, on the eve of the Arab Spring it has announced intentions to extend its operational activities to north Africa.

Time to celebrate? We think instead it's time to start asking some questions. We think instead it's time to have a rethink about the bank's mandate.

After twenty years of promoting market economies in post-Soviet countries, the EBRD has in fact a poor track record of keeping up with its mission to protect human rights and the environment and promote sustainable development.

If the EBRD wants to continue with its mission, it should only do so only if it promotes, through all its actions, a transition to environmentally-sustainable, socially-just, renewable energy-based societies rather than just market economies.

What can you do?

Learn more about the EBRD

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We've collected examples from the last 20 years to illustrate just how the EBRD's activities are often not worth celebrating - at least not for the affected people and environment.

Browse the timeline below for details, images and videos. (You can zoom in and out by using the scale on the left.)