Hilmar Hilmarsson (University of Akureyri, Iceland)
The Baltic States have all initiated their international development assistance programs. Multilaterally they are engaged in international financial institutions like the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This is in addition to their participation to European Union programs. Bilaterally they have selected partner countries and priority sectors in Europe and Central Asia. The presentation will discuss the current aid programs of the Baltic States in their partner countries. It will then focus on possible options for the Baltic States to increase the impact of their development assistance programs. This will include discussions about possible benefits of enhancing their cooperation with other donors and international organizations that are active in their partner countries as well as a different choice of aid instruments. The current institutional structure for international development cooperation in the Baltic States will also be discussed including possible institutional reforms and restructuring to increase their capacity to assist partner countries in transition more effectively. The presentation will be based on review of theoretical literature, interviews, analysis of secondary data as well as the author’s operational experience from the World Bank Group in Europe and Asia and as former chairman of the Icelandic International Development Agency.