How much the EIB plans to invest in development of the Western Balkans in the upcoming period and which areas will have priority?
The Bank’s support to the Region started in 2001 and today we are one of the largest lenders to Western Balkan economies with EUR 8.7 billion of the approved financing. We are financing the construction of motorways and by-passes, rehabilitating the national road and railway networks, refurbishing and building of new schools, hospitals, judiciary facilities, municipal infrastructure, as well as providing support to the scientific community through our research and development loan program. Significant funding has already been channeled into those sectors and we still have numerous ongoing projects where significant funds are to be released.
In the future, we intend to widen further our lending activities under the new Economic Resilience Initiative to sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency and the environment, which have a positive impact on climate change. This year and beyond, the Bank will continue to support health and judiciary infrastructure projects, as well as the railways and road sectors but we also envisage continuing support of SMEs, through the commercial banks and national promotional banks. More support for Serbia’s resilience to migrant crisis is also being envisaged in the upcoming period.