Governor Wenzel welcomes Slovak Minister of Finance to the CEB
7 December 2016
PARIS – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, today welcomed the Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Peter Kažimír, to the Bank’s headquarters in Paris. On this occasion, they signed an agreement for the establishment of the Slovak Inclusive Growth Account (SIGA) at the CEB.
Governor Wenzel and Minister Kažimír discussed ongoing and future bilateral cooperation. The Governor expressed his satisfaction with the excellent relations between the Bank and the Slovak Republic, and offered the CEB’s support for possible future projects, including a new university hospital in Bratislava. The Minister underlined the crucial role that the Bank can play in strengthening social cohesion in Europe and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to promoting inclusive economic growth.
The SIGA is aimed at supporting inclusive growth and environmental sustainability through the financing of technical assistance for social projects, primarily in CEB target countries. The Slovak Republic endowed the account with a grant of € 2 million.
Technical assistance is essential for ensuring project quality. SIGA funds will be used to finance various activities related to the preparation and implementation of projects, such as feasibility studies, environmental and social impact assessments, business plans, tender documentations, contractual arrangements, and advisory services.
The Slovak Republic, a CEB member since 1998, has had over € 900 million in loans approved by the Bank for social projects since 2012. The sectors which have benefited the most from CEB funding are urban and rural modernisation, protection of the environment, job creation and preservation, social housing, and education.
CEB-financed projects are currently being implemented in the Slovak Republic in the areas of job creation and preservation and modernisation of urban and rural areas.One of the first donors to the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), the Slovak Republic contributed € 300,000 to the MRF shortly after it was established in October 2015.
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.