Legal Transition Programme

How the EBRD Legal Transition Programme operates

The Legal Transition Programme is a group of lawyers, each with a specific area of legal expertise. They lead the EBRD's efforts in legal reform in their specialist areas and the related legal technical assistance projects. These lawyers work closely with the Bank's project-focused lawyers to identify and overcome legal impediments to investments.


In 2010 a Financial Law Unit was created within the Legal Transition Programme to address, on a systematic basis, the challenges faced by investors engaged in financial transactions in transition countries. The Unit specialises in questions relating to capital markets, corporate governance, insolvency and access to finance.


The Legal Transition Programme's specific objectives are periodically re-evaluated and detailed in three-year Action Plans. These allow objectives to be adjusted to take into account of the current legal, political and economic environment in the EBRD region, as well as the Bank's investment strategy.


The 2013-2015 Action Plan bases its legal policy dialogue and technical cooperation activities on three pillars:


  • First, it supports EBRD operational initiatives in transition countries, such as promoting food security, energy efficiency, SME access to finance, the knowledge economy, local capital market development, and more efficient public procurement, as well as strategies and legal means for attracting private sector funding for infrastructure, and dealing with non-performing loans. This pillar also sees some new directions in the Programme, such as improving corporate governance of EBRD investee companies.
  • The second pillar selectively addresses cross-cutting problems in the business environment of transition countries through institutional reforms and capacity building measures, especially in areas where the EBRD has identified that it has a comparative advantage over other international assistance providers. In particular, this will include measures to improve insolvency regimes and to strengthen contract enforcement, including by the courts.
  • The third pillar develops a results framework and integrates the Programme into the Bank’s broader policy dialogue agenda.



The Legal Transition Programme is funded both from the Bank's budget and through donor grants provided by the EBRD's shareholders and other official sources. The programme accepts practical support such as fellowship funding, training facilities and event publicity.


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