The European investment bank(EIB) has signed today in Belgrade with the Serbian Minister of Finance Diana Dragutinovic and in the presence of the Minister of Education Zarko Obradovic a EUR 50 million financing loan aimed at supporting the School modernisation programme of the Country.

The loan will cover about the 50 per cent of the total cost of the project that has two main objectives:

  • to improve the quality of learning conditions for students at all levels of pre-university education;
  • to reach a more efficient allocation and investment in physical infrastructure in the education sector all over the Country.

This operation represents a continuation of EIB's support to Serbia’s primary and secondary education sector, following the succesful implementation of the first EIB EUR 25 million loan extended in 2005 and is fully in line with the EIB's lending priorities for the strengthening and development of activities in support of the Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries.

This is the second relevant loan financing supported by the EIB in Serbia in educational and Research and Development (R&D) sector after the EUR 200 million operation in favour of public R&D signed on 4th March 2010.

"I am really satisfied for this operation in the educational sector: the EIB is following closely investments in human capital in Serbia", noted Dario Scannapieco, the EIB Vice-president responsible for operations in Italy, Malta and the Western Balkans, "together with the loan signed last March on supporting public Research and Development Center. We appreciate the efforts made by the Serbian government to invest in the building of its human capital. These are projects with a long-lasting payout from which Serbia's competitiveness will strongly profit".

Notes to editors:

The EIB is the Bank of the European Union. Established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and is active in more than 130 other countries. Outside the EU, the Bank supports projects that contribute to economic development in countries that have signed association or cooperation agreements with the EU.

The EIB has been active in the Western Balkans since 1977 and is today the largest international financier in the region. Over the past ten years, it has financed projects totalling over EUR 6 billion in the area. The Bank's focus in the Western Balkans has been on the implementation of transport, energy, health and education projects, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local authorities, industry and services, water and sanitation.

Since 2001, the EIB has extended EUR 2.6 billion in favour of projects in Serbia.