The social development bank for Europe

Permanent Representation of Italy to the Council of Europe

Michele Giacomelli, Ambassador of Italy to COEIn 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?

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is a valuable tool for Italy to contribute to continental development and to promote - thanks to the social vocation of its projects - cohesion and integration among member countries.

Italy is one of the eight founding members of the CEB and one of the three largest contributors. This is why we have a particularly close relationship with the CEB, which has been strengthened in recent years. Since 2016, Italy has once again become a major beneficiary with 14 projects approved, amounting to more than two billion euros.

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

Many important projects have been financed thanks to the CEB's contribution. 

Their social orientation - ranging from the construction of refugee centres to environmental protection, from disaster prevention to urban rehabilitation - does not allow for a ranking, as they are all relevant and important, especially in terms of their impact on the poorest. Given the current situation, however, I would like to make specific reference to the health sector and interventions to reduce the impact of Covid-19, which have provided valuable support to institutions and organisations on the front line of the response to the pandemic.

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 that the Bank continues to operate on the basis of its mandate, which is based on 3 main objectives:

  • Inclusive growth ensuring access to economic opportunities for all to ensure a prosperous future.
  • Support for fragile groups to help integrate the most vulnerable and promote gender equality to foster a more diverse and inclusive society
  • Environmental sustainability for a society that promotes environmental sustainability and mitigates and adapts to climate change.

These lines of action must be implemented operationally in a broad and flexible manner while preserving the integrity and financial stability of the Bank.

The CEB has been able to respond quickly and effectively to challenges and emergencies.

I am convinced that it will continue on this path which has made the CEB a key player in the international financial landscape over its 65 years of existence and for many more to come. 

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