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CEB approves €300 million loan to finance social investments in the Netherlands

3 October 2017

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a €300 million loan to Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG) in order to channel financing to municipalities and public institutions across the Netherlands for social investments in public infrastructure, housing and energy efficiency.

In the Netherlands, social housing and public infrastructure, particularly in the areas of education and healthcare, are sectors with increased needs at the local level. Yet many Dutch municipalities are still facing challenges posed by the effects of the financial crisis and related budgetary cuts.

The CEB is joining forces with the BNG in order to reach a maximum number of beneficiaries, such as municipalities, housing associations, and healthcare, education, and environmental institutions. The BNG is one of the leading lenders to public authorities in the Netherlands, financing investments at the local level with a particular focus on improving living conditions in urban and rural areas.

The CEB-funded programme, which is in line with the Dutch government’s policy of supporting sustainable infrastructure and energy programmes, will finance a range of social projects in a variety of sectors. These include the construction of kindergarten and school buildings, healthcare facilities, water supply, drainage and sewerage systems, cultural and sports facilities, the modernisation of public buildings with emphasis on energy efficiency improvements, and public transport infrastructure. 

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel expressed his satisfaction with the loan approved and said: “Improving the quality of life through the modernisation of regional and municipal infrastructure is one of the CEB’s main sectoral lines of action. With this loan to BNG, we will reach municipalities across the Netherlands through a major sustainable development programme. Hundreds of thousands of persons are expected to benefit from this programme, and we, at the CEB, are proud to be part of this..”

This is not the first CEB operation in the Netherlands. Over the past two years, the Bank has approved loans to Rabobank and Qredits in order to facilitate access to financing for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to support financial inclusion and job creation.

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 positive 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.