The EBRD has financed the purchase of new passenger trains on regional lines
The Western Balkans Rail Summit will be held in September in Belgrade and is organized by the EBRD, EIB and the Transport Community. The summit, which will be attended by EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, will gather representatives of the authorities of the countries in the region, with the goal of jointly planning and agreeing on the improvement of the railway network and connections for the EU. This year also marks the European Year of Railways.
Decarbonization of transport
The decarbonisation of the transport sector is one of the main pillars of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, supported by the leaders of the Western Balkan countries in November 2020 at a summit organized in Sofia.
Serbia is actively participating in the EBRD Green Cities Program, with Belgrade and Novi Sad joining the program. The action plan for Belgrade has been completed and is awaiting adoption at the city assembly, and the action plan is being drafted for Novi Sad. The increasing use of alternative propulsion vehicles and e-mobility are clearly highlighted in these action plans.
After the initial renewal of the Novi Sad vehicle fleet with the purchase of 29 buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG), the second phase of the project is now in the works and includes the procurement of 10 electric buses and supporting infrastructure, expected to be announced by the end of this year. Procurement of such modern vehicles reduces emissions.
The EBRD supports private sector participation in transport and infrastructure investments, and one of the most common forms is through public-private partnerships. One of the first major concession projects in Serbia is Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport, for which the concession agreement was signed with the French company Vinci in 2018. The EBRD is contributing with a loan of EUR 72 million for this project, with the project's total investment being around EUR 1 billion.
The airport modernization project includes the renovation of the passenger terminal building, capacity expansion and overall improvement of services and facilities. Although the modernization program will increase the airport's capacity, it will also make business more environmentally friendly.