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CEB Governor in Montenegro for talks with the government, project visits

4 October 2018

PODGORICA - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, has concluded an official visit to Montenegro for meetings with senior government officials. The Governor visited a beneficiary family of a CEB-financed social housing project and also the site of a Regional Housing Programme (RHP) project.

Governor Wenzel held consecutive meetings with the Minister of Finance Darko Radunović and the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović, with whom he exchanged views on the current economic situation in the country and ongoing CEB operations in Montenegro. The discussions also focused on possible areas of future cooperation in social housing, the environment, education, and penitentiary infrastructure.

Darko Radunović and Rolf Wenzel (© Balsa Rakocevic)
Darko Radunović and Rolf Wenzel (© Balsa Rakocevic)
Since 2010, the CEB has been financing “1000+”, a long-term, three-phase programme aimed at helping vulnerable, low-to-medium-income households in Montenegro to access affordable permanent housing. Through this innovative programme, households receive subsidised mortgage loans, part-financed by the CEB. By the end of 2020, it is expected that some 1,000 families will have benefited from this programme. While in Montenegro, the Governor visited a beneficiary family who bought their apartment through the mortgage scheme and had moved into their new home.

Pavle Radulović and Rolf Wenzel with the Samac family (© Balsa Rakocevic)
Pavle Radulović and Rolf Wenzel with the Samac family (© Balsa Rakocevic)
Governor Wenzel, along with the State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Vukica Jelić, visited the site of a major project to be completed by the end of 2018 under the RHP. The RHP aims to put an end to the protracted displacement of vulnerable refugees and displaced persons in Montenegro and also in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. In Konik, 120 families previously residing in a camp with substandard facilities have already moved into new accommodation, while the remaining 51 families are expected to do so by the end of the year, which will lead to the closure of the Konik camp. 

Governor Wenzel said: “Today I had constructive meetings with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro, where the CEB has been a long-standing partner supporting government efforts to provide the vulnerable families with access to decent housing. The CEB has also been active in the country in the areas of job creation through the provision of financing to MSMEs, education, and within the framework of the RHP. We are currently looking at ways to further strengthen our cooperation and extend it to other social areas.”

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.