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CEB Governor welcomes Latvian Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Justice to CEB

21 November 2019

PARIS – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Mr Rolf Wenzel, welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister / Minister of Justice of Latvia, Mr Jānis Bordāns, and his delegation to the CEB headquarters in Paris.

Latvia_Deputy Prime Minister_November_2019
Rolf Wenzel & Jānis Bordāns

Governor Wenzel and Minister Bordāns exchanged views on current European affairs and social development matters, and discussed the prospect of future cooperation between the CEB and Latvia in the area of penitentiary infrastructure.

Minister Bordāns informed the CEB Governor about recent developments in relation to the construction of a new penitentiary facility in Liepāja. Mr Wenzel, in his turn, outlined the recent activity of the CEB in terms of providing financing and technical assistance for the modernisation of prison infrastructure in its member countries in accordance with the highest European standards and European Prison Rules, and stressed that the CEB was the only international financial institution involved in the financing of such projects. He also underlined the CEB’s readiness to support Latvia in the development of projects with a high social value.

Governor Wenzel said: “Over the past few years, the CEB has acquired extensive experience in the provision of financing and technical expertise for the construction and modernisation of prison facilities. We strongly believe that an effective penitentiary system is key to upholding human rights and the rule of law, which are core values of the Council of Europe and the CEB. The Bank would welcome the opportunity of expanding its ongoing cooperation with member country Latvia to this area and help to strengthen compliance with best practices and European standards.”

A CEB member since 1998, Latvia has benefited from CEB financing in the area of environmental protection as well as in education and vocational training. Recently, the CEB has approved a loan to the University of Latvia and another loan to Riga Technical University, two of the largest academic institutions in the Baltic States, to support their development and provide state-of-the-art facilities for students and staff.

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 (AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive, AAA with Standard & Poor's, 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.

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