On 13 October, students from both MA Programmes met with the Senior Political Advisor from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), HQ, London Mr. Jonathan Aves and Director for Central Asia of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mr. Neil McKain. Mr. Aves delivered a lecture on "How the EBRD Makes Political Assessments in a Country of Operation." Mr. Aves began with sharing his personal and professional experiences, and then moved to discussing the history of the establishment of the EBRD. The remainder of the lecture focused on the following topics: its mission, region of operation, the methodology the EBRD uses to assess the transition of countries towards multi-party democracy and pluralism, and what happens when the assessment yields negative results. During the questions and answers session, students and guests discussed the relationship between privatization and democracy; in addition, how the EBRD differs from other International Financial Institutions, and the role the EBRD plays in the reintegration of the region.