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Bosnia, Croatia officially break ground on Svilaj bridge project

Bosnia, Croatia officially break ground on Svilaj bridge project CoolKengzz /Shutterstock.com

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), March 17 (SeeNews) – Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia broke ground for the construction of a cross-border bridge over the Sava river, which will connect the two countries via pan-European transport Corridor Vc, the European Delegation in Bosnia said on Friday.

The bridge is the first in a series of transport and energy projects that aim to improve infrastructure links across the Western Balkans, the Delegation said in a statement following an official ceremony attended by Johannes Hahn, commissioner for EU neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations.

The Svilaj project is part of the EU's connectivity agenda in the Western Balkans, under which Bosnia received 90 million euro ($96.7 million) of financial support to build 10.7 km of state-of-the-art motorway, a cross-border bridge over the Sava river, and a cross-border facility on the Svilaj – Odzak section of Corridor Vc.

"The Svilaj bridge will connect Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and it brings the Western Balkans closer to the European Union", said Hahn. "Improved connectivity stimulates economic growth which, in turn, opens up more job opportunities. We are strengthening the countries’ backbone of competitiveness."

The EU remains committed to providing up to 1 billion euro for co-financing of the connectivity agenda over the period 2014-2020. In the past two years, the EU has provided around 300 million euro for 13 projects.

($=0.9306 euro)

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