The CEB approves € 874 million in new loans for health care, social infrastructure, and employment

19 March 2021

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved 13 new loans totalling € 874 million. The financing will support health care costs, including COVID-19 vaccines, social infrastructure projects across Europe, and improved access to funding for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Croatia: A €200 million Programme Loan to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) to develop and upgrade local and regional social infrastructure, enable access to finance for MSMEs, and support 2020 earthquakes’ recovery and reconstruction efforts. Specifically, the CEB loan is intended to help municipalities, cities, and counties undertake key investments in municipal infrastructure, particularly those to be co-financed by the EU, and to reconstruct and retrofit the infrastructure and buildings damaged by the earthquakes. In addition, the CEB loan will help preserve and maintain employment with the MSMEs and thus contribute to Croatia’s socio-economic recovery.

Finland: An additional €60 million to an ongoing Public Sector Financing Facility to the City of Tampere to finance investments in municipal infrastructure which advance the city’s strategy to become a pleasant, lively, and carbon neutral city by 2030, and a pioneer in smart and sustainable transport and urban development. The investments will focus on daycare, schools, sports facilities and other municipal social infrastructure, for the benefit of Tampere’s residents.

France: An additional €100 million to an ongoing Programme Loan to continue supporting ADOMA in the implementation of its multi-annual Strategic Asset Plan aimed at improving access and housing conditions for those with the greatest difficulty in finding accommodation, such as migrant workers, asylum seekers, and homeless people. The CEB financing will support the French Government’s commitments to a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, as set under France Relance, and the European Commission’s 2021-2027 Action plan on Integration and Inclusion.

Greece: A €2 million Programme Loan to the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa Coop. L. L. (CBK) to support the bank’s lending activities in Thessaly - a region marked by a high unemployment rate, where there are barriers to accessing finance. The CEB loan will help micro-enterprises, including start-ups, women-entrepreneurs, smallholders, cooperatives and social enterprises, to secure funding for their operations. The CEB will thus contribute to (self-)employment and enhanced social cohesion in the region’s rural communities.

Italy: A €80 million Public Sector Financing Facility to IREN S.p.A to expand and rehabilitate the district heating system in Turin’s metropolitan area for the benefit of approximately 700 000 people. In addition to contributing to the security and efficiency of supply, the CEB loan will help the city to replace fossil fuel boilers in residential and public buildings and, thus, to decrease air pollution and meet its commitment to a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.

Kosovo: An additional €25 million to an ongoing Public Sector Financing Facility to assist Kosovo authorities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CEB loan will complement the funding made available by the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank, and will cover the cost of COVID‑19 vaccines and associated consumables and equipment. Kosovo population at large is expected to benefit from the immunisation programme funded by the CEB.

Montenegro: A €30 million Programme Loan to the Investment and Development Fund to finance investments in public social infrastructure and services in 17 municipalities that are below the national development index average. The CEB loan will help rehabilitate water supply networks, local roads, public street lighting, local markets, and other similar public infrastructure. In addition, it will fund the purchase of essential municipal service equipment, such as vehicles for solid waste collection. The CEB financing will thus improve living conditions, reduce territorial inequalities, and contribute to Montenegro’s economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

North Macedonia: A €15 million Programme Loan to ProCredit Bank Skopje to finance MSME investments and working capital needs and, thus, to create and maintain jobs and contribute to North Macedonia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The CEB loan is expected to support about 100 small enterprises. In particular, the CEB financing will support manufacturing and trade, agriculture, and ‘green’ or environmentally sustainable activities and improve the competitiveness of Macedonian MSMEs.

Poland: A €150 million Programme Loan to Santander Leasing S.A. to enable access to lease finance for MSMEs, particularly for small enterprises and start-ups that have limited borrowing capacities. The CEB loan will support job creation and preservation, thus contributing to Poland’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, the CEB financing is expected to promote women entrepreneurs and investments in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Romania: A €23.3 million Public Sector Financing Facility to Sector 4 of the Municipality of Bucharest for a diverse set of priority green and social investments: upgrading mobility solutions by bringing into service a new metro station on the north-south (M2) metro line; enhancing access to public green spaces in a densely urbanised area; and providing better access to quality dental care and higher medical education at the Carol Davila University. The new metro station will facilitate people’s access to jobs and services throughout Bucharest and will reduce average travel time and air pollution, while the new green areas are part of a larger urban regeneration programme that will improve living conditions for the Sector’s 335 000 residents. The investments in medical care will improve health outcomes and the quality of continuing medical training for the students.

Serbia: A €95 million Project Loan to the Government to construct, expand, equip, or rehabilitate several higher education facilities that are part of the University of Belgrade, including the Technical Campus, three Art Schools, and the Faculties of Geography and Biology. Over 13 000 students are expected to directly benefit from the investment, including persons with disabilities, while energy costs will decrease, as the new and rehabilitated infrastructure will be aligned with accessibility and energy efficiency best practice. The project has benefited from CEB technical assistance and additional grant support (€450 000) has been mobilised from the Western Balkans Investment Framework for the further preparation of the Technical Campus.

Spain: A €50 million Public Sector Financing Facility to Xunta de Galicia (Regional Government of Galicia) and an additional €44 million to an ongoing Programme Loan to Institut Municipal de l’habitatge e rehabilitatio de Barcelona (Barcelona’s Institute for Housing and Reconstruction). The former will finance COVID-19-related medical services, consumables, and equipment for about 2.7 million people who live in Galicia, as well as expenses in support of elderly care homes. The latter will further Barcelona’s 2016-2025 Right to Housing Plan by creating, overall, about 2 000 housing units for families and elderly people who cannot afford Barcelona’s market prices.

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.