In these harsh economic times, alleviating social suffering
is a major political priority – and duty – for Council of Europe
member States. For this, many countries can count on the support
of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), a singular investor
with a social vocation. The Bank as such has astutely steered through
the bumpy economic environment and new regulatory constraints of
recent years by adapting its orientations, structures and governance.
It needs to persevere in the same direction, building on the shared sense
of common purpose and ambition by its members.
The report encourages the Bank to keep strengthening its ties
with the Council of Europe so as to maximise its impact and comparative
advantage, notably in niche activities. Sectoral priorities (including
the judiciary, public services, health care, social housing and
asylum facilities) and non-European Union countries in South-East
Europe require more fresh investment alongside projects to support
employment. Parliamentarians, too, could play a more active role
in promoting project initiatives in their countries.
Further recommendations to the CEB insist on the need for
continued improvements in governance and project quality. They feature
proposals for reaching consensus on various reform options and a
timetable, co-operation with institutional partners and member States
on project development, efforts to boost direct financing of projects
and the Bank’s visibility, as well as action to strengthen impact
evaluation of projects in the field of employment.