The Parliamentary Assembly underlines that the financial crisis has increased the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) and multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), a unique institution with a primarily social function, not least because it is able to provide loans on good terms for projects designed to soften the negative social impact of the crisis at a time when its member states are finding it increasingly difficult to borrow in the financial markets.
In order to maintain confidence in such institutions, however, it is more than ever important that they function and perform efficiently and that their governance is beyond reproach and democratically accountable.
The Assembly therefore welcomes the publication of the “CEB Strategic Review – Contributing to a socially cohesive and sustainable Europe in the 21st century”, undertaken by a Committee of Eminent Persons that submitted its report to the Chairman of the CEB Governing Board in October 2008. The report is now being examined by the CEB organs as part of their overall strategic review of the Bank’s functioning, governance and performance with a view to making improvements.
The Assembly considers that, in fulfilment of its role of democratic oversight over the Bank, it should provide an opinion on the Bank’s strategy as well as its functioning, governance and performance, and that, to this end, and in the interest of transparency, its appropriate Committee should step up dialogue with the organs of the Bank as their strategic review progresses.
On the basis of this work, the Assembly should make recommendations to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the body ultimately responsible for the CEB’s activities.