CEB approves 14 new loans totalling €1.1 billion

17 November 2023

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved 14 new loans today amounting to over €1.1 billion in a large variety of CEB’s sectors of action. Spanning 11 of the Bank’s 43 member states, the new loans include the first-ever loan for Ukraine, which focuses on restoring health infrastructure and meeting urgent health needs of the population.

“We believe that investing in social infrastructure like health care, public transportation, education and housing is crucial for the well-being of all European citizens. The loans approved today reaffirm our continued commitment to fostering resilient and inclusive societies, with a particular focus on supporting emergency needs through our first loan to Ukraine,” Governor Carlo Monticelli commented.

Approved projects also testify to CEB’s continuous focus on cooperation with its international partners and peer International Financial Institutions (IFIs) as a large number of loans benefit from IFI co-financing or grants and guarantees from CEB’s international partners, especially the European Union (EU).

ALBANIA: This €27 million loan to the Republic of Albania will co-finance the establishment of information and communication technology (ICT) laboratories, or “Smart Labs”, in more than 600 schools across the country, benefitting around 150 000 children. The project prioritises students in the more remote, often rural areas of the country, where children are more likely to being left behind. The ICT investments will be coupled with capacity building activities for teachers. The project is aligned with Albania’s National Strategy for Education which includes developing the curricula for digital competences and computer programming skills. Additional resources for the project come from a €10 million Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) grant and a €4 million contribution from the Government of Albania.

BELGIUM: A €250 million loan to Region de Bruxelles Capitale will co-finance investments in modernised and more environmentally friendly public transport to promote a more inclusive and resilient living environment. The project is part of “Good Move”, a sustainable mobility plan for investments to upgrade the region’s public transport network. The investment programme will improve the capacity, accessibility and connectivity of public transport services, catering to the particular needs of low-income and vulnerable populations. The project contributes to climate change mitigation, with the acquisition of zero-emission public transport vehicles expected to decrease the average carbon footprint per passenger-kilometre.

FRANCE: This additional €2.5 million loan to SCI Campus Pasteur Lille will ensure the sustainability of the financing for Phase 2 of Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL) restructuring/modernisation project. Launched in 2016, the project is working to future-proof the IPL campus, focusing on better-configured premises that are fit for purpose to enable research and development activities, while also controlling operating costs, particularly for energy performance. The Lille European Metropolis and the Hauts-de-France Region have anchored the economic development of the region in the biomedical sector, with IPL – a major research and development centre on a European scale – at its centre. Biomedical research and prevention activities are also essential to the provision of affordable, high-quality medical and healthcare.

Also in France, a €50 million Public Sector Financing Facility (PFF) loan to the Union nationale des centres sportifs de plein air (UCPA) will co-finance the renovation and improvement of around 15 sports centres and other facilities. UCPA aims to make sporting activities accessible to as many people as possible, particularly the young, by enabling them to develop their sporting skills, while forging personal emancipation, solidarity and inclusion. The project is under consideration for additional financial support from the European Union’s InvestEU guarantee programme.

GERMANY: This €69.7 million loan to the municipal hospital of Sankt Georg in Leipzig aims to modernise key medical services through the construction of a new hospital building, which will be powered by renewable energy, and the provision of needed equipment. The new building will host the largest emergency care department in the Federal State of Saxony, an interdisciplinary intensive care unit as well as modern wards with 344 beds, including state-of-the-art equipment. The second largest hospital in Leipzig, Sankt Georg is in close proximity to one of the region’s major refugee reception centres and helps meet the needs of vulnerable populations in Saxony, which faces substantially lower incomes and higher unemployment than Germany’s national averages. The envisaged investments will improve Sankt Georg’s operational and energy efficiency and enable the hospital to better respond to evolving needs within the context of Germany’s ongoing hospital sector reform.

ITALY: This €250 million PFF loan to Poste Italiane, the country’s largest provider of postal savings products, logistics, and financial and insurance services and an important social policy instrument for the Government. The loan will co-finance investments in Poste Italiane’s network in southern regions and small towns so as to reduce territorial disparities and ensure that “no one is left behind” in the digital and financial transformation of the Italian society. The CEB loan will contribute to sustainable service delivery, including increased quality and accessibility of financial services, particularly for those at risk of exclusion, such as migrants, the elderly and younger people. Supporting Poste Italiane’s low-carbon transition and energy efficiency investments, the loan will deliver significant benefits to all citizens, coupled with an improved long-term sustainability of its services.

MALTA: This €7 million additional loan to Malita Investments will support the increased scope of the 2017 project for the provision of social and affordable housing units under a government-subsidised rental housing scheme for vulnerable groups. Malita is an 80 per cent government-owned, listed company promoting the realisation of Malta’s strategic development priorities. Thanks to this additional loan, the project’s scope has been increased by 68 additional units, bringing the total to 748 housing units.

NORTH MACEDONIA: This €50 million loan to the Development Bank of North Macedonia (DBNM) seeks to promote job creation by partially funding DBNM’s lending through accredited commercial banks to at least 250 eligible Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for both investment and working capital. The programme will help participating MSMEs access cost-effective funding, fostering their competitive position and reinforcing their ability to create and maintain jobs. The loan builds on the successful implementation of a €10 million CEB loan to DBNM approved in September 2005.

In North Macedonia, a €2 million loan to Horizonti Microcredit Foundation will support its business and agriculture microcredit activities. The programme is expected to enable access to credit for groups normally excluded from the formal banking system, contributing to self-employment, job maintenance and job creation in the country. In line with Horizonti’s important role in supporting the financially excluded, most vulnerable groups of society, at least 20 per cent of the loan proceeds are expected to be allocated to Roma microentrepreneurs. The loan follows the successful implementation of a €1 million programme approved in 2021.

ROMANIA: This €26.7 million loan to the Municipality of Bacau will partly finance its priority investment programme designed to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Sustainable transport infrastructure investments will include smart traffic management systems, the development of corridors for pedestrian including vulnerable populations, such as those with a visual disability. The CEB loan will also support the renovation of three national colleges, directly benefitting over 3,000 pupils. Urban regeneration initiatives envisaged under the project will include the conversion of an old cinema into a modern office incubation space for start-ups and new businesses.

Also in Romania, a €53 million loan to Bucharest Sector 5 will support a multipurpose social investment programme designed to improve living conditions for 300,000 inhabitants. The project is expected to address local housing challenges through energy efficiency measures in residential buildings and the construction of a new, net-zero emission social housing building for marginalised groups such as single parents, young couples with children and no accommodation, and Roma community members. The first operation of CEB with Bucharest Sector 5, the loan will build on the results of previously approved projects with Bucharest Sector 4 and Sector 6.

SLOVAK REPUBLIC: This €150 million loan to Slovak Savings Bank (Slovenská sporiteľňa, SLSP) will support urban, rural and regional development by co-financing investments to revitalise and modernise public infrastructure, improve public services and renew housing units. The CEB loan will enable municipalities, regions and municipal companies to invest in public infrastructure as well as the quality, reliability, comfort and accessibility of public services. The loan will also aid the rehabilitation of pre-fabricated housing units, including by improving their energy efficiency and lowering inhabitants’ energy cost burdens. SLSP will allocate 80 per cent of CEB resources to less developed Slovak regions. The project is the fourth CEB loan operation with SLSP.

SWEDEN: This €80 million additional loan to the City of Malmö will continue to finance budgetary expenditures aimed at expanding and improving compulsory school facilities and supporting investments in inclusive, equitable, high-quality education that foster better learning outcomes and social cohesion. Education continues to be one of the most important focus areas for the City of Malmö, with almost 50 per cent of the City’s annual budget spent in this sector. Eligible expenditures will focus on renovation, expansion and/or construction of new schools for students of various ages, including support to vulnerable groups and, more specifically, the migrant and displaced populations. With this new loan, CEB operations with the City of Malmö since 2016 total €320 million.

UKRAINE: This €100 million loan to the Government of Ukraine – the first CEB operation since the country’s accession to the Bank on 15 June 2023 – aims to finance the restoration of health infrastructure damaged by the war and meet urgent health needs of the Ukrainian population. The project will support the Health Enhancement and Life-Saving (HEAL) project, a $500 million framework operation developed by the World Bank in collaboration with the Ukrainian authorities, which is designed to bring together development partners. Further information: see here.

Loans approved infographic November 2023

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is a multilateral development bank, whose unique mission is to promote social cohesion in its 43 member states across Europe. The CEB finances investment in social sectors, including education, health and affordable housing, with a focus on the needs of vulnerable people. Borrowers include governments, local and regional authorities, public and private banks, non-profit organisations and others. As a multilateral bank with an excellent credit rating, the CEB funds itself on the international capital markets. It approves projects according to strict social, environmental and governance criteria, and provides technical assistance. In addition, the CEB receives funds from donors to complement its activities.