The European Investment Bank (EIB) lends a sizable total of EUR 333 million for road, shipping, water and environmental protection projects in Romania. The Romanian Government will on-lend the funds as follows:

  • EUR 240 million to Romania's National Administration of Roads (NAR) for strengthening and upgrading of six sections of National Roads totalling 745 km in Eastern, Central and Northern Romania, mainly linked to Pan-European Corridor IV. Some sections are being co-financed with the European Commission's grant aid programme ISPA, specifically designed to support transport and environmental schemes in the Accession Countries.
  • EUR 55 million to the Cities of Braila, Cluj, Craiova, Foscani and Pascani will help local administrations to build, expand or upgrade drinking water networks and wastewater networks and treatment plants. The schemes are also supported by ISPA.
  • EUR 38 million to the Lower Danube River Administration in Galati (AFDJ) for repairing and protecting the Sulina Canal in the Danube delta near the Black Sea Coast. The main goal of the works is to improve navigation on the Canal and foster economic activity in the delta's hinterland. The project will also bring numerous environmental benefits to the region which comprises a wetland of international importance recognised as a biosphere reserve by Unesco. Other social benefits include protection to some towns and villages and their economic activity.

Commenting on the loan agreements signed in Bucharest today, EIB Vice-President Wolfgang Roth said: 'These projects follow the priorities set by the Accession Partnership and Pre-Accession Strategy agreed between Romania and the European Union and are another step on the road to eventual full membership in the Union. The signing of three substantial loans early in the year should encourage Romania and the EIB to continue the close collaboration and conclude further agreements over the coming months for the benefit of Romania's economy and population. It shows that the EIB supports especially also those regions in Central Eastern Europe, which have larger burdens from the past than others.

The EIB is the European Union's financing arm and provided its first loans in Romania in 1991. So far the Bank has lent nearly EUR 2.7 billion to Romanian projects, of which more than EUR 1.7 billion for transport schemes: over EUR 1 billion for roads and motorways, EUR 304 million to urban transport schemes, EUR 215 million to railroads, EUR 80 million for air traffic infrastructure and EUR 105 million for upgrading shipping and ports.

Since 1990, the EIB has lent nearly EUR 17 billion to projects in the ten Central European candidates for EU membership: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria.