BELGRADE (Serbia), July 6 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to accelerate the implementation of projects in the Western Balkans to support the rollout of the EU Commission's 9 billion euro ($10.7 billion) Economic and Investment Plan for the region, it said on Tuesday.
The EIB aims to ensure that investments yield concrete results for citizens and businesses in the region and contribute to speeding up convergence and accession, the bank said in a statement on the occasion of the opening of the Western Balkans Berlin Summit.
"EIB is a bridge where EU policy meets sound projects. We firmly support the EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans and the position that the Western Balkan’s future lies in the EU," EIB president Werner Hoyer said.
The EIB will actively support the transition to a greener, more digital and more sustainable economic model, in terms of both infrastructure and private sector development, the lender noted.
In addition to connectivity-related investments and SME development, the bank will also intensify support for health, education, the environment and municipal development and boost social inclusion through innovative financing instruments and increased technical assistance, it added.
EIB has been at the forefront of EU support for the faster recovery of Western Balkans economies from COVID-19, delivering on its 1.7 billion euro commitment announced under the Team Europe initiative in May 2020. In 2021 alone, the bank has scaled up its financial support for the Western Balkans by investing close to 600 million euro in projects in Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
($ = 0.84421 euro)