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CEB Governor, Vice-Governor meet with senior government officials of CEB members, IOM representative

10 May 2019

SARAJEVO - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, and the Vice-Governor for Target Group Countries, Tomáš Boček, have concluded a series of bilateral meetings with senior government officials from five CEB member countries and with the Chief of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Governor Wenzel and Vice-Governor Boček met bilaterally with Ministers of Finance Mr Bedri Hamza (Kosovo), Mr Janis Reirs (Latvia), Mr Vilius Sapoka (Lithuania), and Mr Darko Radunović (Montenegro). They also met with Mr Ilias Xanthakos, Secretary General of Greece’s Ministry of Economy and Development. 

The meetings focused on ongoing CEB operations in these countries as well as on prospects for future cooperation in a wide range of sectors vital for social development in the countries concerned, such as flood prevention, health, microfinance, judicial infrastructure, affordable housing, and energy efficiency.   

Governor Wenzel said: “The CEB delegation held fruitful meetings with senior government officials from member countries which are of key interest to the Bank for social investments, in terms of ongoing operations and the development of new projects. I am pleased with the tangible progress made so far as well as with the exchange of views we had on the way forward, especially with regard to identifying potential new projects. Mr Boček will continue the constructive dialogue with a view to strengthening and expanding our cooperation with member countries.”     

The CEB delegation also met with the Chief of the IOM Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Peter Van der Auweraert, with whom it exchanged views on the situation of migrants and refugees in the region and more particularly on the CEB migrant and refugee project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was financed through a grant under the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF). The project involved the renovation and fit-out of the Ušivak facility in Hadžići, in the Sarajevo Canton, for use as a reception and transit centre for migrants and refugees. The facility, which now has a capacity of 800 places, also provides assistance and protection services to vulnerable migrants. An additional grant has been recently approved under the MRF to support the running of the centre.

The MRF is a grant-based facility established by the CEB in October 2015 to help its member countries deal with the inflow of migrants and refugees and to support migrant and refugee integration in Europe. The MRF has since raised over € 28 million in donations and approved 15 projects in several countries, particularly in the Balkans.    

The meetings with the Ministers of Finance and other officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina were held in the margins of this year’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which took place in Sarajevo on 8 and 9 May.

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 (AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, 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.