The social development bank for Europe

Permanent Representation of Albania to the Council of Europe

Albana DautllariIn 2021 the CEB marks its 65th anniversary as a multilateral development bank with an exclusively social mandate and no fewer than 42 members. What are the advantages of the CEB membership from your country’s point of view?

I am happy to be part of these series of interviews in the context of CEB’s 65th anniversary, and to see that the Bank is even stronger today.

Albania joined the Council of Europe Development Bank on 24 June 1999, and since then the cooperation has only increased and the Bank has proved to be an important tool when it comes to social cohesion and strengthening of social integration through its projects. The Bank has provided funding through loans or grants in support of investments in social housing, health, and in rural and urban regeneration and sustainable tourism, having a real impact in these areas.

Could you give us some examples of the cooperation between the CEB and your country that you consider particularly significant?

I have to commend the Bank for its timely and efficient response to the Covid-19 crisis and the excellent cooperation between CEB and its member states, as well the significant number of the new projects approved in favour of the target group countries, including mine. These are very good examples and important achievements and it shows that the Bank is one of the success stories of the Council of Europe as a whole.

The Bank has been there always when it was needed, also when my country went through difficult times, as it was after the devastating earthquake in November 2019. The Bank was one of the first financial institutions to visit the country, expressing preparedness to provide financial support, and during this visit Prime Minister Edi Rama called CEB “The bank with the heart”, keeping in mind the social and solidarity aspect of the Bank.

I am pleased to share that the grant given by the Bank, in this case was used to redesign 41 schools and kindergartens damaged by the earthquake. The Bank also participated in the Donors Conference of 17th of February 2020 in Brussels, committing itself to help further if needed.

Looking into the future, how can the CEB best support your country to promote social cohesion and sustainable development that leaves no one behind?

Actually, the pandemic has complicated our lives and has made the job of governments and international organisations more difficult when it comes to deliverables, but our Bank has proved to be efficient and to respond to challenges on time.

In order for the Bank to achieve its goals it is important, in my opinion, to have additional focus to target group countries, vulnerable areas and the continuation of ongoing and approved projects in line with its mid-term development plan. The inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals in this plan shows also that the Bank works together with other actors in order to get the best results and to avoid duplications.  

The Bank is playing and should continue to play a bigger role when it comes to help its member states to implement the recommendations from the monitoring mechanism of the Council of Europe (CoE), and in this respect the Bank should continue to increase the visibility of the possibilities offered by Bank in cooperation and coordination with other bodies of the CoE.

Concluding, I am confident that the CEB will continue to fulfill its social mandate also in the future, despite the crises that Europe and the world are facing.