Source: Beta | Wednesday, 18.12.2019.| 15:36
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EU approves EUR 194 million for new projects in Western Balkans

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Illustration (Photo: Tony Stock/shutterstock.com)
The EBRD, EU and bilateral donors are stepping up their engagement in the Western Balkans. During the 21st steering committee meeting of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), EUR 194 million in EU and bilateral grants was approved for new digital, environmental, transport and energy projects across the Western Balkans, the EBRD announced.

These projects, as said, will be supported by loans from the EBRD and other international financial institutions (IFIs).

Grants approved for EBRD projects are expected to leverage more than EUR 400 million in investments. They include the construction of three new motorway sections for Corridor Vc in Bosnia and Herzegovina, two new sections of Corridor X in North Macedonia, the rehabilitation of Kosovo’s railways, wastewater and sewage infrastructure in Gjilan and broadband connectivity for rural schools in Serbia.

The EBRD and the EU also signed two contribution agreements totaling EUR 45 million to support the Advice for Small Business program in the Western Balkans and the Regional Energy Efficiency Program.

Colin Wolfe, Head of Western Balkans Regional Cooperation and Programs, DG NEAR, European Commission, said that, after 10 years of successful cooperation through the WBIF, the EU and its partners had reached a milestone of providing more than EUR 1 billion in grants, which have leveraged more than EUR 5.5 billion in signed loans from IFIs.
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