CEB approves € 216 million for investments in Romania’s historical and cultural heritage

14 June 2021

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a € 216 million loan to support the rehabilitation of priority historical heritage and cultural institutions identified by the Ministry of Culture of Romania.

Romania’s historical and cultural heritage is rich and diverse, with a total of about 30 000 listed historical monuments. Of these, approximately 6 800 buildings, archaeological and historical sites are of national and universal value due to their artistic value, historic interest and socio-economic influence. Romania is also home to more than fifty historical monuments and natural sites that belong to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Part of this heritage has deteriorated due to limited funding available, passing of time and the deep economic and social changes taking place in the country over the last thirty years. Without proper restoration, certain monuments may not preserve their cultural value for future generations.

The objective of the project is to rehabilitate six historic sites and two cultural public buildings included in Romania’s priority heritage and cultural infrastructure list. The loan provided by the CEB will help improve the physical conditions and preserve the architectural and historical value of the chosen historical and cultural sites, as well as promote the further development of the cultural initiatives housed within them. The Ministry of Culture of Romania estimates that, as a result of the planned interventions, the total number of visitors could increase by about 30-40%.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Heritage preservation and cultural promotion are relevant fields of intervention for the CEB due to their important educational, cultural, aesthetic, historical and local impact. Historic heritage can play a valuable role in community well-being, in creating and retaining identity, as well as in social inclusion of different population groups including the youth, the aged, those of different cultural and geographic origins and the socially marginalised.”

With two loans to Romania totalling € 194 million since 2006, the CEB already participates in long-term financing of the highly-social restoration and modernisation of historical monuments and socio-cultural buildings. Twenty-five years after the country’s accession to the CEB in 1996, CEB’s total lending approved so far with Romania – at sovereign and sub-sovereign level and with local partner banks – amounts to more than € 2.1 billion for 35 projects in a wide range of sectors. Romania is also among the ten largest recipients of grant funding from the Bank’s trust accounts, with about € 20 million in support mobilised for migrant reception facilities, Roma education, and flood protection facilities.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 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, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable and AAA* with Scope 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.