Podgorica, 20 December 2016 – The EU Delegation to Montenegro and the Ministry of European Affairs organised at the EU Info Centre a presentation of the results and opportunities provided by the Western Balkans Investment Framework, an instrument of the European Union and international financial institutions established to support infrastructure projects in the field of environmental protection, energy and energy efficiency, transport, social services and development of the private sector in the Western Balkans.
The Head of Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Montenegro, André Lys, highlighted the fact that Montenegro is one of the most active users of the instrument. He added that the investments focused on infrastructure, in addition to contributing to the process of implementation of reform measures in the area of the Connectivity Agenda, at the same time contribute to the establishment of a functioning system for the exchange of goods and services, as well as linking the region with the EU single market.
Within 16 calls for support in the preparation of project documentation so far, 32 national projects, worth around €28m, have been approved for Montenegro.
“In addition, through two already approved projects, Montenegro is successfully using EU funds intended for co-financing investments in infrastructure projects that contribute to better links across the region in the context of the Berlin Process. The first project includes replacement of the signalling system at Podgorica railway station and reconstruction of concrete bridges on the Bar–Vrbnica railway line, and the second includes construction of the Montenegrin part of a 400kV power grid connecting Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The total value of these two projects amounts to €167m, of which €45m is grant support from the EU,” said the Director for Programming and Monitoring of the EU Instrument for Pre-accession Support, Ivana Vujošević.
The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) supports socio-economic development and EU accession across the Western Balkans through the provision of financial and technical assistance for strategic investments, particularly in infrastructure, energy efficiency and private-sector development. It is a joint initiative of the EU, international financial institutions, bilateral donors and the governments of Western Balkan countries, and was established in 2009. To date, the WBIF has allocated €1.3bn to the Western Balkans, out of which €473m represent technical assistance and investment grants aimed to leverage €13.5bn of investments.
More information at www.wbif.eu
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