Governor Wenzel in Portugal for talks with senior government officials
28 November 2016
PARIS - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, has concluded an official visit to Portugal, where he held a series of meetings with Ministers of the government.
Mr Wenzel met with Portugal’s Minister of Finance, Mário Centeno, and Minister of Planning and Infrastructure, Pedro Marques. Discussions focused on ongoing CEB operations in the country and ways of strengthening the cooperation between Portugal and the Bank in areas such as education, health and urban modernisation at municipality level.
Commenting on the visit, Mr Wenzel said: “The meetings held with the Portuguese government in Lisbon were constructive and underlined the shared willingness of both Portugal and the CEB to develop new social projects which could be financed by the Bank. I would like to thank the government for its cooperation and also for the warm hospitality that it extended to the CEB delegation.”
Portugal has been a CEB member since 1976. The Bank has been contributing to the implementation of the country’s social policies, co-financing investments in the areas of social housing, urban development, environmental protection, health and education infrastructure, support for small and medium-sized businesses, and assistance to the victims of natural disasters. The CEB is also supporting the social integration of migrants and refugees.
Portugal is currently implementing two programmes co-financed by the CEB: one involving the construction of schools, and a second concerning the rehabilitation of historic city centres. In addition to these, a further loan for a project of urban rehabilitation was recently approved by the Bank.The CEB has also approved a € 2.5 million grant to Portugal for the construction of a new refugee reception centre and the extension of an existing centre for unaccompanied minors, in order to support the government’s decision to welcome more than double the number of refugees allocated to it under the European Union’s refugee quota system.
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.