The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, has concluded an official visit to Poland, during which he signed two framework loan agreements for social projects totaling over € 250 million. He also visited the sites of major CEB-financed projects.
The Governor signed on behalf of the CEB a PLN 800 million (€ 186 million) framework loan agreement with state-owned Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) to finance a new rental-based social housing programme. The programme, which also receives financial support from the EIB and the Polish state budget, provides long-term financing to social housing operators in order to support the construction of new rental-based housing units. Its aim is to benefit young professionals and couples whose income is too high to qualify for municipal social housing but cannot afford to buy a home either.
The agreement, which was signed in Warsaw by Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, President of the BGK’s Management Board, and Paweł Nierada, First Vice-President of BGK, follows two other CEB loans previously provided to BGK for social housing projects successfully implemented in the years 2001-2006.
Governor Wenzel also visited the Region of Podlachia, where he met with the Governor of the Region Jerzy Leszczyński and signed a PLN 280 million (€ 67 million) framework loan agreement to finance social investments in public infrastructure. Specifically, the loan will provide funds for the modernization of Podlachia’s road network and public transportation, including the transition to electric and hybrid buses, which will increase road safety and enhance the sustainability of the public transport network. Part of the loan will be used for the upgrading of health infrastructure. Overall, the CEB funds are expected to help improve the accessibility of the North-Eastern region of Podlachia, strengthen its economy, and enhance the living conditions of its 1.2 million inhabitants.
Mr Wenzel also visited the sites of two major projects previously financed by the CEB to support flood protection infrastructure work in the basins of the rivers Odra and Vistula. The projects, for which the CEB provided € 550 million and an additional € 1.3 million for technical assistance, are aimed at improving the safety of tens of thousands of people either directly exposed to flood-related risks or living in close proximity of flood-prone areas.
In Wroclaw, the CEB Governor was received by Deputy Mayor Wojciech Adamski, with whom he discussed opportunities for the CEB to provide further support to the inhabitants of the city of Wroclaw through direct financing to the municipality for investments in areas such as urban revitalization and social housing.
During his official visit to Poland, Governor Wenzel also held meetings with high-level representatives of Polish financial institutions with which the CEB has partnered in the past in order to channel financing to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), namely Michał Krupiński, President of the Management Board of Bank Pekao SA, the second largest financial group in Poland, and Paweł Bojko, Chief Financial Officer of Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy.
Governor Wenzel said: “The CEB and Poland, which is marking this year its 20th anniversary as CEB member, maintain an excellent cooperation in several areas and we are looking at ways of further strengthening this cooperation. The loan agreements signed during my visit will contribute to social programmes in important areas such as social housing, transport, and health, which figure among the CEB’s priority sectors and are key to promoting social development.”
Original source: CEB
Published on 13 September 2018