Investing in regions reduces social and economic disparities and promotes inclusive growth, one of the priority areas of operation for the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). In recent years, the Bank has stepped up its cooperation with regions and municipalities in its member countries in order to lend its full support to their social investments.
The scale of needs in local infrastructure across the continent is particularly large, given demographic pressures and climate change adaptation. Local governments are responsible for a quarter of all public expenditure and almost half of all public investment; however, slow and uneven recovery in public investments since 2009 has been a concern.
CEB’s recent investments in regions across Europe include revitalisation and modernisation of urban and rural infrastructure in Trnava, Slovakia; expanding education facilities in Malmö, Sweden; and improving municipal services in Tampere, Finland.
Flexible financing for local investments
With its range of flexible financial instruments, the CEB is an attractive partner for regions looking to diversify sources of funding for their public investments. The CEB is an important source of long-term financing for social investment at local level – one quarter of CEB loans are provided directly to regional and local authorities.
In addition to project and programme loans, the CEB offers the following instruments particularly suitable to regions.
- EU Co-financing Facility (ECF)
ECF loans allow for co-financing and/or ex-ante financing of EU-funded investment activities. They are developed in conjunction with different EU financing instruments directly supporting current EU objectives and facilitate better absorption of EU Funds in the CEB’s priority sectors.
- Cross-sectoral loan (CSL)
The CSL provides flexibility in the use of funds for all purposes, which can be a significant advantage. This type of loan is a great match for urban renewal projects with many interdependent components that are not easily boxed into neatly defined sectors.
- Public Sector Financing Facility (PFF)
The PFF is a financing instrument for maintaining the viability and sustainability of social investment programmes faced with a lack of funding over time. PFF loans cover temporary financing gaps in the public sector and facilitate the continuation of investments and reform programmes, particularly in the areas of high social relevance.
How to apply for CEB financing
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
Potential borrowers include governments, local/regional authorities, public/private financial institutions or any other public/private legal entity approved by a CEB member state.
For more information on applying for a loan contact [email protected].