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Governor Wenzel concludes official visit to Finland

23 March 2017

Rolf Wenzel and Anne Sipiläinen
Rolf Wenzel and Anne Sipiläinen
PARIS - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, concluded today an official visit to Finland, during which he held meetings with senior government officials on bilateral cooperation. 

On 22 March, Governor Wenzel met with the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Tuomas Saarenheimo, with whom he exchanged views on the current cooperation between Finland and the CEB as well as on prospects for strengthening relations in the future. Governor Wenzel also had a meeting with the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy, Anne Sipiläinen, with whom he discussed current European affairs, particularly the migrant and refugee crisis, and outlined some of the steps that the Bank had been taking in order to help its members tackle refugee-related issues. 

At the end of the meetings, the CEB Governor said: “I am pleased that the Bank enjoys an excellent cooperation with Finland. Today I had a very constructive exchange of views with Mr Saarenheimo and Ms Sipiläinen, with whom we explored ways of further strengthening relations between the CEB and Finland. As the country is celebrating 100 years of independence this year, the Bank is ready to contribute to Finland’s social projects and fully support its ongoing reform of public administration.” 

Finland joined the CEB in 1991. Over the past five years alone, the Bank has approved loans worth over € 300 million for Finnish municipalities in order to help improve their infrastructure. Further projects in education and benefiting migrants and refugees are currently under appraisal and expected to be approved later in the year. 

While in Helsinki, in the margins of his meetings with government officials, Mr Wenzel also met with the President of the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), Henrik Norrman. They underlined the strong cooperation between the CEB and NIB in a number of areas, including compliance and IT. 

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.

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