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Torsten Gersfelt

Torsten is a Dane and a valued colleague. He has represented the Danish majority interest in the Danish/Irish/Lithuanian/Macedonian (FYR] constituency at Board level in the EBRD for a number of years. For many of these he has been the Executive Director, and chaired a very eventful Danish EU Presidency.

Torsten also chaired the informal Board of Directors at EBRD, which formation meets without the President and acts as a very valuable feedback to the President of the general feelings of Board members outside the formal legal structure of the Board.

He is now leaving EBRD as he has recently been chosen to be the EIB Vice President, nominated by the Danish, Irish and Greek members of that organisation.

The EIB is both a sister organisation to, and a shareholder in, the EBRD.

The EBRD was negotiated in the first half of 1990, during the Irish Presidency of the EU. Negotiations were carried out in the format of an intergovernmental conference chaired by France, which had held the immediately preceding EU Presidency.

The Danish team in the negotiations included Lars Tybjerg, who became the first Director in the constituency, while equally serving as EIB Director for Denmark. The EIB Vice President, with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe, at the time, was also a Dane, Per Jorgensen [RIP]. So the connections are strong and there is a big job to be done.

The following graphic is intended as a rather whimsical tribute to Torsten and is set in the initial session of the intergovernmental conference, chaired by France, in the Kleber Conference Centre in Paris, on 15 January 1990.

Dramatis personae, from left, include: Jacques Attali, subsequently to become first EBRD President; French Foreign Minister Dumas, subsequently to be encarcerated over a scandal involving ELF et al.; President Mitterand of France; French Finance and Economy Minister Bérégovoy, who subsequently commited suicide; and Irish Plenipotentiary Negotiator and representative of the Irish EU Presidency, Michael Somers, who was subsequently awarded the Légion d'Honneur for his contribution to the establishment of the EBRD. The bubbled lady in the back row is Anne Le Lorier, an exceptional civil servant in the French Treasury, who shepherded the EBRD into existence.

View the malicious graphic here

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