CEB Vice-Governor in Montenegro for inauguration of RHP construction site and meetings with government representatives
18 May 2017
Podgorica – The Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rosa María Sánchez-Yebra Alonso, attended the inauguration of a construction site in Konik, near Podgorica, to mark the beginning of construction work for 51 new apartments. The construction is taking place within the framework of the Regional Housing Programme (RHP), which is managed by the CEB.
The apartments, which are expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, are in addition to the 120 apartments currently under construction in the same location and likely to be handed over to beneficiary families in the autumn.
Vice-Governor Sánchez-Yebra Alonso said that this project had been made possible thanks to the excellent cooperation between RHP stakeholders, much like other RHP projects in the four partner countries, which had so far provided sustainable housing solutions to over 3,000 persons.
The inauguration event was organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro and was attended by Kemal Purišić, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Christian Danielsson, Director General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, Boris Mugoša, Deputy Mayor of Podgorica, Sam Healy, RHP representative of the United States, Anne-Christine Eriksson, UNHCR Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe, and Maryse Daviet, Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.
The beginning of construction inaugurated in Konik complements an earlier project financed by the European Commission through “Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance” (IPA) funds, which involved the delivery of 48 apartments to vulnerable Konik residents in autumn 2015.The Vice Governor also met bilaterally with Minister Purišić to discuss the cooperation between the CEB and Montenegro. Particular emphasis was placed on the RHP, which Montenegro is successfully implementing thanks to EUR 16 million worth of grants approved to date in order to provide durable housing solutions to around 500 most vulnerable refugee families.
In the framework of this mission, Vice Governor Sánchez-Yebra Alonso also met with Pavle Radulović, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro. The Vice Governor said that she was pleased with the excellent cooperation between Montenegro and the CEB in the field of social housing. In the period 2011-2016, some 800 Montenegrin households saw their long-term housing situation resolved, thanks to two CEB loans totalling EUR 20 million. Building on this positive development, discussions about a third operation of a EUR 10 million loan were currently underway. The parties also discussed the possibility of extending the cooperation to the sectors of sustainable development, climate change, and environmental and waste management.
The Vice Governor, accompanied by the General Director for Preschool and Primary Education of Montenegro, Arijana Nikolic, paid a visit to the newly built kindergarten “Zagoric” in Podgorica funded through a EUR 10 million CEB loan. The kindergarten provides pre-school education to some 200 children in the city. Both parties praised the successful cooperation between Montenegro and the CEB and expressed the hope that cooperation would continue in the field of pre-school education promoting social inclusion measures.
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 stable 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.