Mister/Madam Chairperson, dear colleagues

I would like to start by thanking the rapporteur Ms Trisse for her excellent report, which gives us a comprehensive overview of the Council of Europe Development Bank’s activities and prospects for its future work. I very much welcome the suggestion to link the future strategy of the CEB to the UN´s Sustainable Development Goals, as they reflect our many common challenges ahead and call for action to tackle them.

In the presence of CEB’s Director General Mr Wenzel, I want to make some observations that could act as food for thought for the next development plan of the CEB. Let me first congratulate you for your success in supporting social inclusion in member states. In my view, the three priorities of the CEB’s current strategy are good and merit to be included in the next strategy as well. Social justice, refugee protection and climate action are all strongly interlinked, which will further increase in the future.

In this regard, I think climate change mitigation and adaptation require extra attention. Solutions regarding its impact will revolutionize our economies in the near future. Climate change will dramatically alter our societies, our daily lives, our welfare and the movement of people.

In addition to credible responses, we need rapid action to combat climate change. Such efforts must be carried out fairly and equally. We will be successful if the change is fair change. This means a joint view on how working life, the education system and social security are reformed so that all people are justly included. We will have to ensure that companies can reform their production and that people can develop their know-how, when carbon neutrality requires changes in the production structure. This will not be easy and we must bear the societal risks in mind from the very start.

These inevitable structural changes do not come without costs and will be burdensome for all of our member states. However, it is our responsibility to make sure that the most vulnerable groups and countries are not those who will suffer the most from these necessary reforms. In this context, I think the CEB is well placed to support its member states in adopting fair solutions for climate change action and adaptation.

I strongly support the draft resolution. Thank you for your attention.