CEB supports refugee integration, education infrastructure in Nuremberg

19 December 2018

NUREMBERG - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, signed today a €80 million loan agreement with the City of Nuremberg in Germany to support the city’s investments in education infrastructure. He also signed a €600,000 grant to not-for-profit municipal employment agency Noris-Arbeit to support the access of migrants and refugees to training and education.

Rolf Wenzel, Harald Riedel and Claus-Dieter Rückel
Rolf Wenzel, Harald Riedel and Claus-Dieter Rückel

Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city, has experienced a significant population increase in recent years, due to domestic and EU immigration as well as the arrival of a large number of non-EU refugees, a third of whom were minors when they arrived. As the city’s population is expected to continue to grow steadily, mounting demographic pressure has necessitated additional investments in education infrastructure. 

The CEB loan will contribute to Nuremberg’s education investment programme by financing the construction and renovation of 50 different school sites, including early childhood care facilities. The funds will also be used for IT investments in education, supporting among other things a digitalisation programme for schools. The CEB-financed project will increase capacity for nursery school, daycare and after school programmes, enhance the quality of existing school facilities, and create more places in schools to meet increased demand.

The grant to Noris-Arbeit is specifically aimed at facilitating the social integration of migrants and refugees and also of long-term unemployed persons with basic education needs. The project aims at providing training courses, including language and skills training, in order to improve the participants’ access to education and the labour market and ease their integration into community life.

The funds for the grant are provided from the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), a grant-based facility established by the CEB in 2015 to help its member states tackle the inflow of migrants and refugees. Since its establishment, the MRF has allocated over € 26 million to migrant and refugee projects in CEB member countries. 

Mr Harald Riedel, the Treasurer of the City of Nuremberg, signed the framework loan agreement on behalf of the City, while Mr Claus-Dieter Rückel, the Executive Director of Noris-Arbeit, signed the grant agreement. The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees, Tomáš Boček, was also present at the signing ceremony and declared: “I welcome the Bank´s important role in financing local infrastructure aiming at successful integration of immigrants in the fields of work and education. The contribution is very timely, considering that the city of Nuremberg is receiving a significant number of refugees and asylum-seekers; it also follows the strategic priorities of the Council of Europe, outlined in the Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children with its concrete integration projects on education. The practices put in place here can serve as example elsewhere.”

Claus-Dieter Rückel, Tomáš Boček, Harald Riedel and Rolf Wenzel
Claus-Dieter Rückel, Tomáš Boček, Harald Riedel and Rolf Wenzel

Governor Wenzel said: “While migrants and refugees continue to arrive in Europe, it is important to address not only the urgent needs of new arrivals but also their integration into the society and the labour market of receiving countries. The CEB has always given particular attention to both these aspects of migration, supporting the investment needs of its member countries in terms of public infrastructure. The agreements signed today will enhance the quality of education facilities and training in Nuremberg, benefiting migrants and refugees as well as the local population.”

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.