CEB approves €762 million in new loans to support small businesses, secure housing for low-income persons, and improve public infrastructure

17 March 2022

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) today approved seven new loans worth €762 million to support micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and to finance investments in the sectors of health, education, social care, housing for low-income persons, and public infrastructure.  

“The needs for social investment in our member countries are constantly evolving in the face of new challenges,” said CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli. “The projects approved today respond to those needs with targeted measures as the bank of choice for social investments in Europe.”  

The CEB will support the MSME sector and job creation in Czech Republic and Slovak Republic with a loan of €150 million to Societé Générale Equipment Finance s.r.o. (SGEF). The loan aims to enhance the competitiveness of Czech and Slovak MSMEs by enhancing their access to financing. It will also facilitate the modernisation and improvement of public infrastructure, mainly transportation, through funds allocated to entities that provide public services.  

In France, the CEB approved a €100 million loan to Crédit Coopératif to partially finance theg construction and renovation of health, medico-social and educational facilities. The focus will be on those located in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, or on cities that lack urban infrastructure and social facilities and that experience problems accessing long-term financing. The final beneficiaries will be vulnerable populations, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, children or adolescents in difficult family and school situations, and adults in precarious socio-economic conditions.  

CEB’s €150 million loan to GEWOFAG Wohnen GmbH in Germany will help finance the ambitious residential rental investments in the city of Munich in the coming years. Over 95% of the new units will be rent and occupancy restricted. They will be allocated based on social criteria and at rents significantly below the market level. In line with the municipal authorities’ goal to become climate neutral by 2035, the new units will conform to strict energy-efficiency standards.  

In Lithuania, the CEB approved two loans. The first one worth €2 million to United Central Credit Union (KREDA) will contribute to overall economic growth and will enable job preservation and creation by facilitating access to finance for MSMEs. By supporting Lithuania’s existing and new businesses, the loan will promote entrepreneurship and income-generating activities, and thus contribute to social cohesion, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The second loan in Lithuania is worth €10 million. It will facilitate access to financial resources for the construction and renovation of educational institutions through the state-owned Public Investment Development Agency (VIPA), which is tasked to ensure funding for public sector investments of strategic importance. The targeted beneficiaries will be students of higher and vocational education institutions. Up to 5,000 students are expected to benefit from new dormitories and modern learning premises.  

In Spain, the CEB approved a €200 million loan to Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía to enable non-profit cooperatives to deliver quality social care services to the elderly and persons with disabilities. The funding will be used to cover expenses related to the provision of goods and services in homes for the elderly, day centres, and basic home aid services. The direct beneficiaries will be 1.9 million of vulnerable elderly and persons with disabilities, while households with a dependent member are expected to benefit indirectly from the offered care services.  

The €150 million loan to Turkey’s export credit agency Turk Eximbank, will facilitate the creation of permanent and seasonal jobs by securing access to finance for MSMEs. This is essential to bolster Turkey’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, support business activity, and maintain the flow of funding for export-oriented enterprises. Furthermore, the project will promote gender equality and bolster women’s participation in the labour force by supporting women-inclusive MSMEs.

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.