Paris Conference on social infrastructure

 On July 10, the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) organised, under the auspices of the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI), a conference on “Financing social infrastructure” which gathered more than a hundred European participants. The high level speakers, including former European Commission President Romano Prodi and the former French Economy and Finance Minister Christian Sautter, noted a lack of investment in the fields of “Education, health and social housing in the European Union”.

The conference stressed the importance of finding innovative financing for these infrastructures which have a strong impact on the daily lives of European citizens. Hospitals, universities and social housing are all sectors that ensure both the attractiveness of the territories and the well-being of citizens.

Opening the conference, Pierre-René Lemas, Director General of CDC, underlined the role of an institution such as the Caisse des Dépôts in financing social infrastructure. “The role of the Caisse des Dépôts is to accompany the territories by funding the necessary equipment so essential for the daily life of all citizens: social housing, hospitals, universities, public buildings.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Promoting inclusive growth through the financing of social infrastructure projects is one of the CEB’s priority areas of operation, and I am pleased that the conference addresses this important issue. Indeed, in recent years we have stepped up our cooperation with central governments, regional authorities and municipalities in our member countries in order to lend our full support to their social investments.”

Concluding the conference, Laurent Zylberberg, President of the ELTI association, recalled the important contribution that European public financial institutions can make to the reflection on the financing of social infrastructure. “By taking the initiative to launch a reflection on the financing of social infrastructure, and with the support of prominent figures like Romano Prodi and Christian Sautter, our association affirms the social relevance of the economic model of long-term investors.”