Administrative Council approves new loans to support social projects

5 November 2015

PARIS - Today, at its 295th meeting held in Paris, the Administrative Council of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved five new loans totalling € 181.4 million. This brings the total amount approved this year to € 2.3 billion, of which 65% is for target group countries.

Belgium: € 6.4 million to MicroStart SCRL, a leading microcredit provider in Belgium and in Europe, to finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). MicroStart SCRL hopes to generate between 1000 and 1200 microloans per year financing the projects of self-employed entrepreneurs, primarily migrants and unemployed, which will promote job creation in Belgium.

Czech Republic: € 50 million to Česká spořitelna, a.s., one of the main financial institutions of the country. As a bank of local financing with a network of over 630 branches, it has great potential for identifying investment projects undertaken by Czech municipalities and joint enterprises (public-private). CEB funds will be used to modernise public infrastructure and improve its accessibility, and also to protect the environment through cleaner and more reliable public transport.

France: € 100 million to Crédit Coopératif to support the not-for-profit sector, which is an integral part of the social economy and plays a crucial role in the medical-social and educational field. The CEB loan will be used to strengthen the long-term resources of public interest entities for projects benefiting the elderly, persons with disabilities, and vulnerable children, young people and adults.

Montenegro: € 10 million to the government in order to support its efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing. In the context of a new law on social housing approved by the government, the CEB loan will be used for a programme of subsidised mortgages expected to provide about 500 vulnerable and low- or medium-income families with access to housing.

Slovak Republic: € 15 million to the self-governing region of Trnava to co-finance investments in urban and rural modernisation, the protection of the environment, and the rehabilitation of the historical heritage. This long-term financing is intended to cover local needs but will also serve, if necessary, as a short-term bridge loan to speed up the completion of projects financed through European structural funds.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.