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New Loan and Grant Agreements Signed with Finland

12 November 2018

PARIS - The Vice-Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Ms Rosa Sánchez-Yebra, has concluded a two-day visit to Finland.  

On the first day of her visit, the Vice-Governor met with Ms Tuula Saxholm, Chief Financial Officer of the City of Helsinki, Ms Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa, and Mr Pekka Morén, International Financial Affairs Director in the Ministry of Finance. The discussions with the City of Helsinki focused on future cooperation opportunities, capitalising on support previously provided by the CEB for investments in schools and affordable housing solutions for disadvantaged people.

VG Meeting in Finland_Nov 2018_City of Helsinki
Meeting with the City of Helsinki (from left to right): Ms Tuula Saxholm, Mr Tuomo Mäkinen, Ms Rosa Sánchez-Yebra and Mr Keijo Härkönen

The meeting with the City of Vantaa focused on the signing of a €60 million framework loan agreement associated with a project approved in June 2018. The new loan will fund investments in health and social services for the elderly, educational and vocational training facilities, and improving living conditions in urban and rural areas. The new agreement builds on previous and ongoing lending arrangements with Vantaa, which have already helped leverage more than €220 million investments in health, education, and other municipal facilities throughout the city.

2018 Loan Signature_Vantaa
Loan Signature in Vantaa: Ms Rosa Sánchez-Yebra and Ms Ritva Viljanen

During the meeting with the Ministry of Finance, cooperation with international financial institutions and the role of the CEB in financing social infrastructure projects were discussed.

On the second day of her visit, the Vice-Governor met with Ms Annu Lehtinen, Executive Director, and Ms Marjatta Rasi, Chairwoman of the Board of the Finnish Refugee Council, to sign a €260,000 grant agreement under the CEB Migrant and Refugee Fund. The grant will be important in supporting refugees and migrants living in rental apartment buildings and will help to provide a better understanding of living in multicultural neighbourhoods. The grant will also be instrumental in providing in-depth counselling services for migrant, stay-at-home mothers and single parents, with a view to facilitating their integration into the Finnish labour market. 

MRF Grant Signature with the Finnish Refugee Council_Nov 2018
Grant Signature with the Finnish Refugee Council (from left to right): Ms Rosa Sánchez-Yebra, Ms Marjatta Rasi, and Ms Annu Lehtinen

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Finland became a member of the CEB in 1991. To date, CEB loans have helped to mobilise more than €3 billion worth of investments in social housing, educational and health facilities, better living conditions for disadvantaged people, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and municipal infrastructure throughout the country. Further projects in education and municipal infrastructure as well as projects aimed at improving the living conditions of disadvantaged groups, including migrants and refugees, are currently under appraisal and expected to be approved later in the year. In addition to Helsinki and Vantaa, the CEB has ongoing agreements with the Cities of Espoo, Tampere, Turku, and Kuopio.

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 positive 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.