CEB Governor on an official visit to Croatia, meets with the Prime Minister

5 June 2018

ZAGREB - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, met with the President of the Croatian government and other senior members of the government in Zagreb. He also participated in the conference of the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB), hosted by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR). 

The CEB delegation was received by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić, with whom Governor Wenzel exchanged views on the progress of CEB operations in Croatia and the development and financing of potential new social projects. Both sides underlined the strong partnership between Croatia and the CEB and expressed the will to continue to cooperate in order to support public infrastructure development in the country.

Prime Minister Plenković (left) and Governor Wenzel (right)
Prime Minister Plenković (left) and Governor Wenzel (right)

Governor Wenzel said: “The CEB and Croatia maintain a successful cooperation in several areas and we are in talks to enhance this cooperation. As Croatia is currently developing a number of public infrastructure projects, the CEB is ready to give its full support to social sector investments in the country.” 

Marija Pejčinović Burić and Rolf Wenzel
Marija Pejčinović Burić and Rolf Wenzel
The Governor also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić to discuss recent developments in Europe relevant to the activities of the Bank. Governor Wenzel briefed the Minister on the role of the Bank, emphasising its activities in relation to migrants and refugees. The Minister outlined the priorities for Croatia’s presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe: fighting corruption, addressing minority issues, supporting the preservation of cultural heritage, and strengthening local self-government units. 
Rolf Wenzel on Gorica Staklo site
Rolf Wenzel on Gorica Staklo site
During his official visit to Croatia, Governor Wenzel visited Gorica Staklo, a glass processing company in Velika Gorica, one of many Croatian SMEs which has been able to finance its business expansion plan thanks to CEB funds channelled through the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR). 

In Zagreb, Governor Wenzel took part in a panel discussion focusing on the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the role of promotional banks in Europe, as part of the conference organised by the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB) and hosted by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR). 

During the discussion, the Governor outlined some of the steps that the CEB was taking in order to strengthen its cooperation with the regional and national promotional banks, particularly in the context of the EU’s MFF 2021-2027. 

“The economic recovery in Europe should be used as an opportunity to find new resources for more social investments,” stressed Governor Wenzel. “In particular, we need to give our special attention to youth unemployment and unemployment among older workers. All the more so, as European countries are preparing for the effects of an ageing population and for the impact that digitalisation is expected to have on the job market,” he continued. “Without forgetting, of course, environmental issues, especially climate change adaptation,” he concluded. 

The Croatian Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić delivered the opening address of the conference, with EAPB President Philippe Mills and HBOR President Tamara Perko also making opening statements. 

The EAPB represents over 90 financial institutions, including national and regional promotional banks, municipality funding agencies and public commercial banks from across Europe. The Association holds biannual CEO meetings hosted by its members. 

The host institution of this conference, HBOR, is Croatia’s development and export bank mandated with financing national reconstruction and development. It was founded in 1992 and has had an excellent cooperation with the CEB in a range of sectors, including supporting job creation and preservation through the provision of financing to micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

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.

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