Influence of IMF and other IFIs in Central and Eastern Europe

Findings from Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia

17 November 2015 by Eurodad

The role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) – particularly the International Monetary Fund IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
(IMF) – in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has not been the central focus of many analyses in the past. To address this gap, four case studies were commissioned by European NGOs analysing the situation in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia. These studies show that IFIs have played a crucial and often negative role in the economic transformation of these countries over the past 25 years, and they continue to play an important role to this day.

The case studies show that, in different contexts, IFIs have influenced the economic agenda in these countries. In all cases, the lack of effective consultation of the social partners, the parliament or the population before the adoption of the reforms has neglected the importance of the ownership of economic reforms. With poor consideration for the local context, IFIs have pushed the governments of these countries to adopt the same kind of reforms without achieving the promised positive economic and social results.

The synthesis report, country reports and their executive summaries can be read and downloaded below.

Synthesis report:

Executive Summaries:



Source: Eurodad

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