The European Investment Bank (EIB) lends EUR 80 million to the Republic of Serbia for the modernisation, redevelopment and extension of Serbia's four tertiary care hospitals and a further EUR 80 million for the rehabilitation of the Serbian rail network.
The loan extended for the modernization of the four Clinical Centres in Serbia represents a first tranche of EUR 200 million loan aimed at financing the modernisation, redevelopment and extension of Serbia's four tertiary care hospitals in major Serbian cities: the Capital Belgrade, Kragujevac, Nis and Novi Sad. The project involves the design, construction, equipping and implementation of new buildings and a major rehabilitation of existing hospital buildings, as well as a number of smaller investments in education and training of hospital staff, the improvement of standards of patient care, the introduction of a new waste disposal system, etc. It will contribute to the implementation of wide reaching healthcare reforms and will deliver improvements in the quality and efficiency of Serbia's most specialised and most costly healthcare services.
The loan extended for the rehabilitation of the Serbian railways track and its rolling stock will finance the modernisation of three sections of the country's rail network in the total length of 93 km along the Pan-European Corridor X linking Salzburg to Thessaloniki through Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Nis, Skopje and Veles. Once implemented, the project will increase transport safety and capacity by removing major bottlenecks in the railway system in Serbia, a significant transit country in the Balkan Peninsula. Improved railways links will have positive implications for the integration of Serbia with the European Union and increase the competitiveness of the country's economy in terms of improved conditions for the development of trade, industry and tourism.
Both projects represent a continuation of the successful cooperation with the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR), the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the Western Balkans to foster the European perspective. It has been instrumental in providing incentive for political, economic and social reform and encouraging important reconciliation in the region.
The task of the EIB, the European Union's financing institution, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States. Outside the Union, the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies.
EIB financing in Serbia has exceeded EUR 890 million since 2001. EIB lending in the Western Balkans, including Serbia, helps the countries of the region to meet EU accession criteria and harmonise with the economic developments of the EU. The Bank has gradually developed lending activities in this region. Since 1995, the EIB has provided loans in the Western Balkans amounting to some EUR 1.9 billion.