Thomas Pringle TD

The Council of Europe Development Bank and Investment for Ireland

The Council of Europe Development Bank, or CEB as I will call it from now on a very important institution of the Council. I feel the ability to lend money to the member states that support the aims of the Council as an important part of supporting them in a very tangible way. As it is stated in the resolution before, the CEB has also shown a remarkable ability to manage risks and support with a high added value.

The Bank has accumulated unique know-how and comprehensive experience in handling projects with different levels of development, institutional capacity and social needs. It is refreshing that it is a bank that does not have the receipt of its primary profit, which is a new experience for us in Ireland anyway. I think that should be expanded on more often. The aims of the Bank are creating jobs, housing and infrastructure development, and the development of migration and adaptation to climate change. Of course all these developments have the protection of migrants at their heart.

Particularly, I feel that climate change is at the heart of a lot of migrant issues, and I think that will be important in the future. Ireland has not been shy when accessing the funds of CEB as well. Although it may be more important in the European Investment Bank than to advertise its involvement in the European Investment Bank. I think it is very important that the CEB should publicise and notify its involvement in the country. In Ireland we have benefited in recent years to the tune of 118 million euros, which is not an insignificant amount.

With 130 million euro have been approved for social housing, and also recently the regeneration of Limerick benefiting. Limerick is Ireland’s third city and had a severe lack of investment and the fund had been able to help out. I am particularly interested in the ability of the CEB to invest in local governments directly in member states. This could be very useful in Ireland’s terms. Although it is possible that local authorities in Ireland may be able to benefit from the use of funds in our case. In Ireland we have a very underdeveloped local authority structure and the purse strings on funding are very tightly controlled at a national level. The addition of a focus on climate action is what I am thinking about in the context of local authority funding. Particularly I represent the very North-West of Ireland, which is a very rural and underdeveloped part of Ireland, and we are looking at getting up to date road development, never-mind public transport or the railways that would be climate efficient. Perhaps this could be the type of project with a local authority.

Anyway, that is a job for another day. In the context of the motion that we are discussing today, I have to say that I agree totally with the motion and have no problems in supporting it. I think point 10.2 in the motion, it is possible that the Bank’s response.

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