Germany: Governor Wenzel meets with CEB partners
13 January 2020
The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Mr Rolf Wenzel, has concluded meetings with CEB partners in Potsdam and Leipzig, with whom he explored ways of continuing the fruitful cooperation to support investments in social housing and public infrastructure.
In the morning, Governor Wenzel met with Mr Tillmann Stenger, Chief Executive Officer of Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB), at ILB headquarters in Potsdam. The CEB and the ILB have a long-established cooperation going back to 1996.
The latest CEB-financed programme aims to create affordable rental accommodation through the construction of new units and the renovation of existing facilities. It will benefit families with children, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, migrants, refugees and displaced persons.
Part of the €150 million loan approved by the CEB will be used for social investments in urban and rural areas in the State of Brandenburg. These include the modernisation of public infrastructure, such as school buildings, the road network, and public transportation, which will improve the living conditions of the local community.
In the afternoon, Mr Wenzel met with the Managing Director of Leipziger Wohnungs- und Baugesellschaft (LWB), Ms Ute Schäfer, in Leipzig. The First Mayor of the City of Leipzig, who is a Member of the Supervisory Board of the LWB, Mr Torsten Bonew, also participated in the meeting. In their joint statement, Ms Schäfer and Mr Wenzel expressed their resolve to explore ways of strengthening and expanding their cooperation in social housing, with a view to the CEB potentially increasing its lending to the LWB in 2020, in addition to the €58 million loan that the CEB approved in 2019.
The aim of the LWB programme for which the CEB approved financing in 2019 is to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-income persons in Leipzig, including single parents, persons with disabilities, the elderly, homeless persons and families with children.
The CEB funds will also support the construction of crèches in the city, which will have significant benefits for single parents and working mothers, thus strengthening gender equality.
Governor Wenzel said: “The meetings held today reaffirmed the CEB’s strong, ongoing commitment to supporting vulnerable population groups, consistently with the Bank’s social mandate and new Development Plan for the period 2020-2022. Through our excellent cooperation with the ILB and the LWB we are providing modern, affordable housing for low-income persons and we are also financing other public infrastructure projects in areas where there is a need to strengthen social cohesion. We are currently looking at how we can expand further this productive cooperation for the benefit of local populations, with a particular emphasis on supporting low-income persons.”
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.