CEB Award for Social Cohesion 2021 goes to Eco-Razeni

11 June 2021

PARIS - An Award ceremony was held virtually today, during which the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) announced the winner of this year’s CEB Award for Social Cohesion, selected among five shortlisted projects by an independent Jury. Eco-Razeni will receive a €25 000 prize for significantly contributing to social cohesion in an integrated and effective way with their social bakery project “Hope has an address”.

Eco-Razeni is a social enterprise that provides opportunities for personal and professional development for disadvantaged and disabled youth in the Republic of Moldova. The organisation combines on-the-job training with social catering, in rural areas, thereby combating economic and social exclusion and reducing inequalities. Eco-Razeni won out of over 120 applications that were submitted by individuals and organisations. The shortlisted entries hailed from Belgium, Greece, Republic of Moldova and Turkey.

“Our project is not about saving people, which is God's mission. This Award will allow us to continue to help excluded and marginalised persons to rebuild their lives, thus strengthening the confidence in our community – our sense of hope and belonging” said Sergiu Gurau, CEO of Eco-Razeni.

“It was not an easy job for the Jury to come to an agreement in selecting the best among the best. We liked all the projects, and if we were able to do so, we would certainly grant an award to each of them.” Snežana Samardžić-Marković, President of the Jury, said at the Award Ceremony.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “It is important to encourage and reward initiatives that actively promote social cohesion and I am pleased to see that the CEB Award for Social Cohesion has attracted so many worthwhile projects from around Europe for a second year in a row.”

The next edition of the CEB Award is planned to be launched in January 2022.

About the CEB Award for Social Cohesion:

Launched in 2020, the CEB Award for Social Cohesion, worth €25 000, is an annual competition to recognise a project that addresses pressing social issues in one of the CEB’s 42 member countries. The Award stems from the CEB’s social mandate, centered on a belief that the right investments in the social sector can have profoundly positive economic and social impacts on society at large.

Five independent judges from the fields of social development, social entrepreneurship, academia and civil society select the winning project, after eligible applications are assessed on impact, sustainability and innovation/replicability by CEB experts. In 2021, Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe, presided over the Jury, which also included Guillaume Capelle, Founder of SINGA and CALM; Tomáš Boček, Vice-Governor Target Group Countries, CEB; Eva Maydell, Member of the European Parliament/President of European Movement International; and Christine Whitehead, Emeritus Professor in Housing Economics, London School of Economics.

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.