Governor Wenzel addresses the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
2 October 2019
STRASBOURG – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) Rolf Wenzel today addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) during the debate “The Council of Europe Development Bank: contributing to building a more inclusive society”.
The debate was centred around a report on the CEB and its activities, focusing in particular on developments since the last PACE report in 2014. Following the presentation of the report by the Rapporteur of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly, Nicole Trisse, Governor Wenzel addressed the Assembly before responding to comments and questions from PACE members.
In his statement, Governor Wenzel welcomed the regular reporting by PACE on the CEB as a useful opportunity for an external assessment of the CEB and underlined the good cooperation between the Bank and the Council of Europe. He commended the report on acknowledging the diversity of projects and the range of social areas in which the CEB was active as well as the variety of financial instruments which the Bank employed.
Outlining the strategic plan that the CEB was envisaging for the coming years, he identified three priority lines of action on which the Bank would focus: inclusive growth, support for vulnerable population groups and climate action.
“Promoting social cohesion and solidarity in Europe is a challenging task. The recent financial crisis and its consequences for European governments and citizens have made this task all the more challenging,” he said, highlighting the fact that the CEB, as an international financial institution with an exclusively social mandate, had a major role to play in social development in Europe. And he concluded: “In my view, this is the way forward: working closely with our member countries and in coordination with the Council of Europe in order to encourage public investment in social development, protect vulnerable groups and the environment, and build a more inclusive society.”The Parliamentary Assembly adopted the report by an overwhelming majority.
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.