Council of Europe Development Bank to decide in Dublin on easing Ukraine membership

Institution focuses on providing supports to 22 European countries

The Council of Europe Development Bank’s (CEB) member states will decide at a meeting in Dublin on Friday on a proposal to advance Ukraine’s plan to join the organisation by waiving a normal condition that it make a capital contribution to the bank.

Ukraine formally applied in late May to join the bank, which has 42 member states, including Ireland. It provides financing and technical expertise for projects with a high social impact, focused on 22 countries in central, eastern and southeastern Europe, also responding to emergency situations and contributing to improving the living conditions of the most disadvantaged population groups.

Ukraine, due to the size of its economy and population, would ordinarily be required to make a capital contribution of about €60 million to gain membership of the CEB. A proposal to drop the requirement is seen as a token of solidarity with the war-torn country.

“Hopefully, we will have shareholders agreeing to lift the financial burden related to Ukraine joining [the bank],” Carlo Monticelli, governor of the CEB told The Irish Times ahead of the bank’s latest annual joint meeting of its governing board, administrative council and senior management in Dublin.


He said “political intentions have already been expressed” among member states to back this proposal. This is the first time the Republic has hosted the bank’s annual joint meeting.

The CEB, which dates back to 1956, issued a $1 billion (€980 million) so-called social inclusion bond early last month, with the proceeds earmarked to be used to support Ukrainian refugees being hosted by CEB member countries, led by Poland.

To progress Ukraine’s application to join the CEB, which is at an advanced stage, the country must fulfil certain legal requirements and also secure approval from its own parliament. Ukraine can be considered for direct financing for projects from the CEB only on becoming a member of the bank.

Separately, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday that the Government had committed €1 million to a specially established donor fund in the CEB, which “will be used specifically for those displaced by the war in Ukraine and, when the time is right, we will support the reconstruction of vital infrastructure in Ukraine”.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times