Celebrating 25 years: Lithuania and the CEB
On 8 January 2021 we mark Lithuania’s 25-year membership of the CEB. Since 1996, when Lithuania joined the CEB, the Bank has approved €889 million in loans to support the country’s investments.
These investments cover a huge scope, from supporting micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to enhancing energy efficiency measures in public and residential buildings, to supporting Lithuanian cities, to modernizing public transport and funding social infrastructure improvements across sectors and throughout Lithuania.
Recent funding support
In 2020 alone, the CEB approved loans worth €449 million for the projects in Lithuania, to the Government of Lithuania as well as to important sub-national governments.
National government loan approvals include €100 million to support State Investment Programme investments across the country and €67.5 million to support the refurbishment of the country’s multi-apartment building housing stock to make it more energy efficient.
Mitigating the impact of the pandemic
Two other loans were approved for Lithuania in 2020 via the CEB’s COVID-fast track procedure. A €100 million loan, approved in April, supported the country’s health network and public institutions to tackle the practical and economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. An additional request for €100 million was approved in July to support emergency healthcare expenditure and basic public services.
Support at the local level
Lithuania’s largest cities are fundamental to the country’s growth and development and the CEB has approved several loans to municipal governments to enable them to flourish. Recent examples include a €35 million public financing facility (PFF) to the city of Vilnius to enable it to achieve its goal of becoming ‘a friendly, comfortable, changing and innovative place’. A €25 million PFF agreed with the city of Kaunas will also help to finance investments that are part of the city’s strategic development plan 2022.
Indeed, Kaunas is one of Lithuania’s most important business and cultural centres (see Kaunas – a creative city). The country’s second largest city, it will be European Capital of Culture in 2022. Kaunas aims to be a forward-thinking, inclusive and environmentally friendly place to live, work and visit. So in 2020 the CEB approved a €21.5 million loan to Kauno Autobusai, the city’s municipal transport company, to purchase 100 hybrid buses and upgrade the city’s public transport system.
In March 2020 just before pandemic started , the CEB’s Vice-Governor for Target Countries, Tomáš Boček, visited Lithuania to sign loan agreements and meet senior figures to discuss the CEB’s ongoing support for the country. Commenting on his visit, Vice-Governor Boček said: “It is clear that there is huge potential and a firm commitment on both sides to expand the CEB’s cooperation with Lithuania to other areas contributing to social development and inclusive growth.”
Diana Bertje is the Country Manager for Lithuania at the CEB – and has led the country’s portfolio at the Bank for nearly ten years. She says, “It is a great pleasure to see how cooperation has evolved and diversified between Lithuania and the CEB.
“While 2020 was driven by non-standard and challenging working conditions, the CEB approved an important number of loans to Lithuania. Some were developed with longstanding partners, but we also established a new type of cooperation and initiated a new type of project financing.
"These projects, at the government, city and municipal organisation level, will positively impact a wide range of people in Lithuania, from pupils who will enjoy better learning environments to people using an enhanced public transport system in Kaunas, and medical personnel tackling COVID-19.”
Lithuania has also committed to resettling migrants and refugees, and in 2017 the Bank mobilised donor funding from the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) to assist the Jonava District Municipality and, especially, its Rukla town with various initiatives aimed at integrating migrants and refugees.
Read more about the CEB’s support for Lithuania:
loans since 1996
loans in 2020