How to access CEB financing
The CEB’s principal activity consists of granting loans to borrowers in any of its 43 member states to partially finance economically and socially viable projects that promote social cohesion. The Bank can also provide guarantees, grants and interest rates subsidies through fiduciary accounts.
All CEB loans are granted in accordance with the Bank’s mandate. They have to meet specific technical and social criteria, and be in strict conformity with the Bank’s environmental, procurement and compliance guidelines and policies.
Potential borrowers include Governments, local/regional authorities, public/private financial institutions or any other public/private legal entity approved by a CEB member state.
In order to determine a borrower’s eligibility for financing, a systemic evaluation of its solvency, institutional set-up and management capacity is carried out by the CEB.
Loan applications are tailored to the characteristics of each project. They are prepared jointly by the CEB and the borrower and state the main features of the borrower and the project to be financed.
Loan application guidelines
A loan application should include the following preliminary information:
- Brief description of the project and its sustainability
- Project’s financial aspects (loan amount, estimated project cost, financing plan) and implementation schedule
- Borrower’s profile and general information
The financial, technical and implementation-related aspects of the project are detailed and evaluated during appraisal. Social impact is a key consideration during the appraisal process. The appraisal stage includes a thorough evaluation of the likely added value of CEB support.
The Bank increasingly provides technical assistance for project preparation and implementation from different sources, either bilateral (such as the Spanish Social Cohesion Account) or multilateral (for example, the Western Balkans Investment Framework).
The final loan application is presented to the CEB’s Administrative Council for examination and approval according to official procedures. This is done by means of a Letter of Transmittal from the Ministry of Finance of the applicant’s member state to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France). The Secretary General issues an opinion of admissibility for every application submitted.
The project can receive financing once the Framework Loan Agreement (FLA) has been signed between the Bank and the Borrower. The FLA reflects the specific requirements and modalities established by CEB during project appraisal as well as the corresponding requirements determined by the CEB corporate policies. In cases where the FLA spells out any conditions for disbursement, the Bank ensures that these conditions are met by the borrower before any loan disbursement can take place.
Type of financing
CEB operations can be funded through different financial instruments:
- Project Loans
- Programme Loans
- European Co-finance Facility
- Public Finance Facility instrument, and
- Cross-Sectoral Loans (CSLs).
The Bank mainly provides flexible medium-term and long-term loans at favourable interest rates, in specific cases along with interest rate subsidies. CEB loans are granted for tenors that take into account the nature of the project and they are disbursed in several tranches.
Once a project is completed, a final report is drawn up by the borrower detailing the use of funds and compliance with the objectives approved by the Administrative Council. The Bank may carry out an ex-post evaluation of any completed project or programme to measure their medium-term social impact and enable the CEB to improve the quality of on-going and future operations.