First and foremost, IEFA is Belgium’s contact point with the international financial institutions, the European Union as far as the financial aspects are concerned and in respect of the bilateral financial relations with foreign countries.
Grosso modo, IEFA carries out three tasks to fulfil its mission:
- Policy preparation: developing the FPS Finance’s viewpoints concerning international financial issues which are to be presented to the Minister;
- Implementation: once the Belgian government has taken a decision, transposing this decision into practical decrees;
- Representation of interests: the decisions and/or positions of the Minister or the Government are defended in international meetings through the representations and participation in international and national meetings.
More specifically, the tasks are carried out on three levels:
- The European Institutions:
- coordinating financial and monetary (non-fiscal) subjects within the framework of the Ecofin Councils, in close collaboration with the Policy Preparation Cell;
- transposing the European directives;
- transferring financial means to the European Commission;
- The international financial institutions (Bretton Woods institutions and Regional Development Banks):
- supervising the administration and being a direct interlocutor;
- managing the financial embargos imposed by the United Nations;
- The bilateral financial relations with foreign countries:
- being responsible for the financial aid to third countries, more particularly, the developing countries;
- negotiating on debt relief;
- being a representative in the institutions which are involved in export financing.