The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term lending institution, is providing EUR 60 million (1) for the construction of the last two sections of the Rijeka-Zagreb motorway.

The motorway linking the main port with the capital of the country is a priority for the Croatian State. Being a component of the Pan-European Corridor Vb, the motorway contributes to the country's integration with the European Union and its neithbouring countries.

The EIB loan is provided under the current mandate for Central and Eastern Europe. It will assure the realisation of the investment together with cofinancing from Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb d.d. itself, and in parallel to financing provided by EBRD and KfW.

The EIB in Croatia has been mainly supporting the rehabilitation of road infrastructure, and modernisation of the Croatian railway sections of Pan-European corridor Vc, linking Croatia to Hungary and Bosnia Herzegovina, as well as the private sector.

The EIB is a lead player in implementing the European Union's priority objectives. In 2001, EIB financing for projects supporting European Union policy objectives totalled EUR 37 billion (up 13% on 1999). EUR 31 billion went to projects within the EU Member States and close to EUR 3 billion to those in the Accession Countries, while lending in other countries ran to EUR 3 billion. To fund these activities, the EIB borrowed EUR 32 billion on the world's capital markets.

In South-East Europe, the EIB operates under the Mandate for Central and Eastern Europe agreed by the Council of Ministers for 2000 to 2007, which provides for EIB lending of up to EUR 8.7 billion, which complements the EU, as well as EU Member States' own bilateral co-operation policies. To underline its commitment to future post-war reconstruction in the Balkan area, the EIB played an active role in the preparation phase of the reconstruction investment programme, in cooperation with the European Commission and the other multilateral financing institutions. The list of potential infrastructure projects which was published in the Study on Basic Infrastructure Investment in South-Eastern Europe comprises a total of 85 projects totalling EUR 4 billion. Of this total, 35 projects are Quick-Start totalling EUR 1.1 billion, in which the EIB has a lead role in 14, totalling EUR 720 million, i.e. 65% of the total. 50 projects are "Near-Start", totalling some EUR 3 billion, of which EIB has a lead role in 18, amounting to some EUR 1 billion, i.e. 33% of the total Near-Start package.

(1) Conversion rates: EUR 1 = 7.36502 HRK