Select Committee on European Communities Written Evidence

Letter from The World Bank

  In response to your April 9, 1998, letter, I would like to thank you for soliciting the World Bank's input regarding the Sub-Committee C of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities inquiry into environmental aspects of the European Union's TACIS program.

  The management of the World Bank particularly in the European and Central Asia region of the Bank, has been co-ordinating closely with the European Commission in recent years. This co-ordination has been especially fruitful in the areas of helping our clients evaluate their needs with regard to the European Union accession process (see the attached Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and helping our clients in the Newly Independent States to identify priorities as they develop national environmental action plans (NEAPs). Regarding this last point, our Task Team Leaders have co-ordinated with TACIS-funded NEAP Co-ordinators, on a country-level basis. Furthermore, we have been closely co-ordinating with TACIS in the many regional environmental programs, particularly those addressing the enormous problems of the Aral, Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas.

  We are currently exploring with the European Commission additional avenues for collaboration with the TACIS program. These discussions are in an early stage of development so it would be premature to specify what we hope to accomplish in exact terms, but I am optimistic that they will provide us with the constructive means to assist our clients in managing inherited and future environmental problems as they grapple with the formidable task of economic transition.

  I wish you all the best for your inquiry, and I hope that its outcome will help all those concerned to increase the effectiveness of development assistance to our clients.

Michele de Nevers

Sector Leader—Environment

Rural Development and Environment— Europe and Central Asia Region

29 April 1998

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