Council of Europe Development Bank held its 56th annual Joint Meeting in Athens, Greece

9 June 2023

© CEB/Fotis Plegas G.
© CEB/Fotis Plegas G.
Athens/Paris - The 56th annual Joint Meeting of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) was held in Athens today. The annual meeting, which is a high point on the CEB’s calendar, is being hosted by the Greece this year. It brings together members of the Bank’s Governing Board, Administrative Council and Senior Management in one of the Bank’s member countries. 

Greece is a founding member of the CEB, which was created in 1956, making it Europe’s oldest multilateral development bank as well as its social development bank of choice.  

Greece’s Minister of Development and Investment Eleni Louri-Dendrinou opened the Joint Meeting with a keynote address, in which she reaffirmed Greece’s steady support for the CEB’s social mission and looked forward to the Bank’s contribution to the country’s development prospects, including in areas where Greece has a huge potential, such as microfinance, and the digital and green transition. 

The Joint Meeting was held amid preparations to welcome Ukraine into the CEB as its 43rd member state, which the Governor stressed will be a great honour. Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Oleksandr Kubrakov and Minister of Finance of Ukraine Sergii Marchenko both intervened at the Athens meeting by video conference. They hailed the support of the CEB, and looked forward to the start of operations, notably to rebuild social housing and health sector.

Council of Europe Secretary-General Marija Pejčinović Burić also addressed the opening session, highlighting the grants provided by the Bank to refugees from Ukraine and the strategic framework will facilitate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Ukraine’s socio-economic sectors, in line with Council of Europe’s national Action Plan.

CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli rounded off the opening session of the Joint Meeting by thanking Greece for its warm welcome to Athens, which he described as the cradle of European civilisation. He highlighted key achievements of a robust year for the CEB in 2022, which generated benefits for a large number of citizens across Europe, but warned that a succession of international crises had given the CEB’s social mission extra urgency. In this regard, Governor Monticelli warmly thanked member states for their dedicated support and engagement, particularly their historic 2022 agreement to strengthen the CEB’s capital base.  

Key figures at the Joint Meeting also included the Chair of CEB Governing Board Marinela Petrova and the Chair of CEB Administrative Council Miglė Tuskienė. The Joint Meeting continued throughout the morning behind closed doors, and was followed by the meetings of the Governing Board and Administrative Council at which new project loans were considered for approval.

High-Level Speeches

  • Minister of Development and Investment of Greece Eleni Louri-Dendrinou (read)
  • Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić (read)
  • CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli (read)

On the evening before the Joint Meeting, 8 June, the CEB Award for Social Cohesion 2023, which showcases projects with a strong social impact, was won by Atina NGO of Serbia, for its work to reinstate and empower women and girl victims of gender violence and trafficking, with L’Outil en Main of France and Humana Nova of Croatia as runners up. There were over 100 entries for the award. For more on this, please visit Social projects from Serbia, Croatia and France honoured at CEB Award for Social Cohesion 2023

About the CEB

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is a multilateral development bank whose unique mission is to promote social cohesion throughout Europe. The CEB finances investment in social sectors, including education, health and affordable housing, with a focus on the needs of vulnerable people. Borrowers include governments, local and regional authorities, public and private banks, non-profit organisations and others. As a multilateral bank with an excellent credit rating, the CEB funds itself on the international capital markets. It approves projects according to strict social, environmental and governance criteria, and provides technical assistance. In addition, the CEB receives funds from donors to complement its activities.

The CEB has 42 member states. It was established originally as a refugee fund in 1956 by eight of the 15 member states that made up the Council of Europe at the time. The CEB is Europe’s oldest multilateral development bank, and is legally and financially separate from the Council of Europe.

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