The CEB has its origins in the political upheavals that Europe experienced following the Second World War, leading to a flood of refugees and displaced persons into Western Europe.
The oldest European multilateral development bank, the CEB was established in 1956 by eight Member States of the Council of Europe on the basis of a partial agreement in order to bring solutions to the problems of refugees. Signed on 16 April 1956 by eight countries, the Bank is the first of the Partial Agreements to have been concluded.
The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is a multilateral development bank with an exclusively social mandate.
Through the provision of financing and technical expertise for projects with a high social impact in its member states, it actively promotes social cohesion and strengthens social integration in Europe.
The CEB represents a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe. It participates in financing social projects, responds to emergency situations and contributes to improving the living conditions of the most disadvantaged population groups.
The CEB contributes to the implementation of socially oriented investment projects through four sectoral lines of action, namely:
- strengthening social integration
- managing the environment
- supporting public infrastructure with a social vocation
- supporting micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
The CEB carries out its mission within the strategic framework of a formal "Development Plan" that describes the logic underpinning its action and sets forth guidelines for the activity in the medium term in relation to the operational context within which the Bank operates. The current Development Plan covers the period 2014-2016.
Relations with the Council of Europe
Working to strengthen social cohesion in accordance with its mandate, through its lending activity the Bank promotes the values and principles of the Council of Europe. It is nevertheless a separate legal entity and financially independent.
As evidence of these institutional links, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe issues an opinion on admissibility in terms of compliance with the Council of Europe’s political and social objectives for all the projects that the Bank submits to its Administrative Council for approval.