The social development bank for Europe

Permanent Representation of Poland to the Council of Europe

Jerzy BAURSKIIn 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?

After more than 20 years of cooperation between Poland and the Council of Europe Development Bank, we can conclude that the Bank has played an important role in the transformation and modernisation of our economy.

The CEB has proved to be an important partner in the success of Poland’s transition, facilitating sustainable development, supporting job creation and preservation, improving Polish SMEs’ competitiveness, modernising urban and rural public infrastructure (e.g. flood protection system or urban renewal), protecting the environment as well as supporting the health sector and the protection of the physical and cultural environment. This cross-cutting approach is a blueprint of efficient targeting and solving of challenges.

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

Since our accession in the 1998, the Council of Europe Development Bank contributed to developing crucial projects such as modernising the Odra river flood system or contributing to the urban renewal projects in Łódź. A well-defined project portfolio and clearly defined areas of engagement help to achieve more significant results in the projects co-financed by the Bank. CEB’s engagement targets ambitious areas and contributes to delivering tangible results for our citizens and companies. The visible social impact of the Bank’s investments is what stands out.

A very interesting example is a recent loan project dedicated to job creation and preservation by a Polish company EFL (Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy). By helping the SME sector, which is the cornerstone of Polish and European economy, Poland with the help of the CEB, can achieve multiple goals – maintain the created jobs, stimulate the economy and bolster the investment in order to prepare the SME sector to tackle the new challenges of climate change or digitalisation.

We are also looking forward to a successful realisation of a new project in the sector of action “Education and vocational training”, concerning the CEB loan in favour of SGH – the Warsaw School of Economics, for modernising the SGH campus by constructing a modern teaching and research facilities - “the SGH Hub of Innovation”. 

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

It is important to spot and make use of positive feedback loops. By promoting investments in climate friendly solutions or digital sector we not only help to develop technology but also achieve greater economic growth, which in turn translates into job’s creation and increased social cohesion.

The CEB support for the member countries in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic remains a priority.

Poland wishes to continue benefitting from the lending operations of the CEB. We would be interested to see CEB’s operations in Poland gradually shifting from supporting local authorities to strengthening Polish private sector.

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