Source: Beta/Tanjug | Monday, 08.07.2019.| 14:43
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European Investment Bank announces Western Balkans priorities

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced today that competitiveness, innovation and climate are top priorities for the EIB in the Western Balkans.

The press release also points out that the bank will support roads, railways, water treatment plants, schools, hospitals and SMEs.

– The European Investment Bank remains committed to the economic and social development of the Western Balkans and plans to grow its investment portfolio in the region – announced the President of the EIB Werner Hoyer at the Poznań Summit for the Western Balkans.

He pointed out that the EIB Group accompanied Poland’s success story by investing EUR 64.2 billion for the benefit of its citizens since 1990.

– The EU bank stands ready to replicate such success in the Western Balkans. Our activities are designed to support the implementation of the EU’s enlargement policy and we stand ready to do more in the region with a wide range of different finance and advisory products – Hoyer said.

At the summit margins, the EIB signed a new agreement in support of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) accepting a contribution from Poland of EUR 500,000 to a Joint Fund co-managed by the EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The WBIF allows the EIB to channel additional support into the region and promote cohesion both within the region and within the European Union.

The Western Balkan Investment Framework blends EIB loans with grants and crowding in private investment. To date it has mobilized EUR 18 billion of investment.

In the future, it will expand from transport and energy connectivity to provide support for the environment, the social economy, the digital agenda and a new Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.

The EIB reminded that, on 4 July in Belgrade, it had signed another similar project under ERI, a EUR 1.1 million grant with the City of Belgrade to support improvements in water and sewage system in Serbia’s capital.

Investment in climate action will mean the EIB as Europe's Climate Bank, will sustain the region’s energy transition to modernize infrastructure, reduce emissions, and diversify the energy mix to increase the security of supply.

During the Summit, the EIB signed its first urban regeneration project in the Western Balkans investing EUR 11 million in the Lana river project in the Albanian capital city of Tirana. The project will bring flood protection, public transport and climate change resilience for 65,000 citizens of the capital.
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