CEB approves €465 million in new loans, appoints new vice-governors and agrees on Ukraine’s accession to the Bank at zero cost

8 July 2022

Dublin - The governing bodies of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) met today to discuss strategic and policy priorities, take decisions regarding new loans and appoint officials.

CEB’s strategic and policy priorities

The CEB governing bodies discussed strategic and policy priorities for the Bank, with a focus on Ukraine’s membership. Noting that the process is well advanced, CEB members states agreed, as a tangible sign of support, to relieve the country from any payment requirement for accession to the Bank.

A swift formal decision on financial conditions for Ukraine’s accession does not prejudge the discussions on future activities of the CEB, including in Ukraine, and related considerations on the Bank’s financial resources, which will be taken in the context of the upcoming Strategic Plan (2023-2027).

Approval of new loans

The CEB Administrative Council approved five new loans worth €465 million, with the majority of the funds dedicated to supporting refugees from Ukraine in CEB member countries. 

At the same time, the CEB Governing Board appointed Sandrine Gaudin to the post of Vice-Governor for Financial Strategy, and Johannes Böhmer to the post of Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy. 

“The new loans respond to the most pressing needs of our member states, with a clear focus on helping them manage the refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine,” said CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli. “As for the appointment of the new vice-governors, I want to congratulate Ms. Gaudin and Mr. Böhmer. I am convinced that thanks to their solid professional experience they will help the CEB deal with the many challenges that lie ahead, and will provide me with invaluable support to carry out my duties.” 

In addition to aiding refugees from Ukraine, the newly approved CEB loans will be used to finance social housing for low-income persons and improvements in municipal infrastructure, and to enhance access to finance for community organisations, voluntary and social enterprises.

In Germany, CEB’s € 200 million loan to the state development bank of North Rhine Westphalia will partially finance the NRW.BANK’s Refugee Accommodation Programme, which will help municipalities finance the acquisition, construction and modernisation of accommodation for persons fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. The loan will finance both temporary and permanent accommodation to achieve a more inclusive integration of refugees into host communities. 

In Lithuania, the CEB will provide a €120 million loan to the Government to offer assistance to those fleeing the war in Ukraine through emergency service delivery and humanitarian measures. The loan will be used by relevant ministries and communities providing frontline support, mainly in the form of financial assistance and/or cash payments for education, health and social care. The beneficiaries are potentially 30,000 individuals from Ukraine, including 13,500 children in 2022, whereas some 700 students are expected to benefit from scholarships financed through this loan. 

Another loan in Lithuania -  €25 million to the Kaunas City Municipality - will partially finance investments to improve the quality of life in the city and surrounding area. The project will help address challenges caused by the changing demographic and labour trends in the Kaunas municipality, including more than 10,000 registered refugees from Ukraine. The authorities have been providing the refugees with accommodation, food, psychological and social assistance, education for children and job search for adults. 

In Ireland, CEB’s €20 million loan in favour of the Social Finance Foundation (SFF) will help increase access to affordable finance for the country’s community organisations, voluntary and social enterprises. This is particularly significant at a time when these organisations are playing a critical role in addressing socio-economic challenges in the context of the COVID-19 recovery. Established in 2007 by the Irish Government, SFF focuses on providing loans and risk-sharing opportunities to those organisations that experience difficulties in accessing mainstream financial institutions. This project is expected to be supported by the InvestEU guarantee programme, enabling the CEB to increase the amount of the loan. 

In Spain, CEB’s €100 million loan to Institut Català de Finances aims to support the region’s efforts to increase the supply of social housing rental stock. In accordance with the long-term territorial Housing Plan of Catalonia, the loan will finance up to 1,600 affordable housing units and will thus reduce the waiting list of social housing seekers. At the moment, there are 84,000 social housing applications. Given the social relevance of this project and its alignment with the policy objectives of the European Union, this loan is expected to be retroactively supported by the InvestEU guarantee programme.

Appointment of vice-governors

Sandrine Gaudin, the newly appointed CEB Vice-Governor for Financial Strategy is a French national. Ms. Gaudin boasts an outstanding career in the French public administration, having served in a range of positions in the field of economic policy, public finance and diplomacy. Prior to joining the CEB, she was Secretary General for European Affairs, in charge of inter-ministerial coordination on European Affairs, reporting directly to the Prime Minister of France. Ms. Gaudin was also advisor on European Affairs to three Prime Ministers: Elisabeth Borne and previously, Jean Castex and Edouard Philippe. She is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and holds a DEA in International Public Law from the University of Aix, Marseille III.

Johannes Böhmer, the new Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy, is a German national. He joined the CEB almost 12 years ago, following a successful career in the private sector, namely the international audit industry. Since then, he has held a wide range of senior positions in the Bank, including Director of the European and External Affairs Directorate, making substantial contributions to the CEB’s work and operations. Mr. Böhmer holds an MBA from the University of Mannheim.

Related links:

55th Joint Meeting
CEB and Ukraine refugees
Structure and management

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 positive 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.