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Governor Wenzel concludes official visit to Serbia

15 March 2021

Governor Wenzel and Aleksandar VucicPARIS – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, has concluded a three-day visit to Serbia, during which he met with the President of Serbia and visited CEB-financed projects in the country. 

At his meeting with the Governor, the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić stressed the importance of Serbia’s collaboration with the CEB, which is currently financing projects in the fields of health, education, environmental protection and energy efficiency. Ongoing CEB investments in Serbia amount to almost €1 billion.

The President presented the Governor with the Gold Medal of Merit for his contribution to improving the cooperation between Serbia and the CEB.

“This is another obligation for you, Governor Wenzel, and for us. For us to show even greater respect for your great work, and for you to invest even more in the coming period in the progress of Serbia and support our citizens. You cannot imagine how grateful we are and how much we appreciate everything you do to support Serbia," President Vučić said.

During the visit, the Governor and the CEB delegation also had fruitful meetings with the Minister of Finance Siniša Mali as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selaković, who thanked Governor Wenzel for his personal engagement in improving collaboration with Serbia. 

At the meeting with the head of diplomacy, a letter of intent to cooperate was signed by CEB Vice-Governor Tomáš Boček and Vladimir Cucić, the Commissioner for Refugees and Migration, paving the way for additional €200,000 in grant financing from the Migrant and Refugee Fund to improve COVID-19 protection measures in migrant camps. Since 2015, the CEB has supported Serbian authorities with grants for emergency assistance to the migrants transiting through Serbia.

Together with the President of the Regional Government of Vojvodina, Igor Mirović, the Mayor of Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević and the Director of the Public Investment Management Office, Marko Blagojević, Governor Wenzel visited the health centre 'Novi Sad'. This large primary care facility in Serbia is being refurbished for the first time in 40 years thanks to the CEB loan of €200 million to the Serbian authorities for more than twenty health care facilities in the country.

Along with the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation Yngve Engström, the Commissioner for Refugees and Migration Vladimir Cucić and the Mayor of Novi Sad, the Governor and the CEB delegation also visited a Regional Housing Programme site in Futog, where 152 apartments are currently being built to house refugee families from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. 5,300 homes have already been handed over in Serbia under this EU-funded flagship project spanning four countries.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 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, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable and AAA* with Scope 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.
*unsolicited

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