The European Investment Bank (EIB) has invested more than EUR 5.5 billion in the public and private sectors of Serbia since 2001. As Dubravka Negre, Head of EIB Regional Representation for the Western Balkans, told Novosti, this entails more than 70 capital projects and 300 smaller local ones.
The realization of 16 big projects, worth over a billion euros, is currently in progress. The EIB invests in road and rail infrastructure, energy, healthcare, education, research and development.
Negre pointed out that the private sector was quicker, as it had a clear goal of making profit, whereas the public sector was there to raise the quality of a service.
– The public sector is more inert, not just in Serbia, but in general. I believe that, in countries in transition, the capacity, efficiency and transparency of the public sector all need to increase – Negre said.
She explained that, in the private sector, approved funds were withdrawn within a year or two, whereas projects in the public sector took much longer.
– Of course, they are complex and are of public importance. Plenty of procedures need to be completed in order for them to be realized. If the preparations aren't done carefully, the withdrawing of the funds is late too.
Negre says that Serbia has withdrawn 88% of the approved funds, observing the statistics in the past ten years.