Brussels, 8 November 2012
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Rolf Wenzel, Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met today with the Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Mr. Rolf Wenzel. They explored ideas for enhanced cooperation between the European Commission and the Bank and discussed progress to date in the implementation of programmes in the Western Balkans, notably the Regional Housing Programme, an action jointly funded by the EU, the USA and other donors. The programme aims at providing sustainable housing solutions to an estimated 74,000 refugees and displaced persons of the armed conflicts in the Western Balkans in the 1990s. The CEB plays a leading role in the implementation of this programme.
''I expressed my support for the work of the Bank and its role in mitigating the impact of the financial crisis in its countries of operation. The Governor and I agreed that structural cooperation between the EU, the CEB and other financial institutions is important and should be fostered'', said Commissioner Füle. ''I also stressed the Commission's intention to put more emphasis on financial support towards socio-economic development in the countries benefiting from pre-accession assistance (IPA) as well as those participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy. We both agreed that the Bank's experience in social sector projects would be of great benefit'', he concluded.