Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB, announced at the Western Balkans Summit in Vienna a number of projects which the EU Bank is ready to finance in the near future, including the “Rail Route 10” within Kosovo*. Further operations envisaged by the EU Bank include the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP-project), where EIB launched the initial appraisal. The TAP-project will help diversify gas supply to the European Union and provide an opportunity to develop the use of gas as source of energy in the Western Balkans.
President Hoyer said: “The European Investment Bank is the largest international financier in the Western Balkans. In line with our mandate and with the stated goal by the countries in the region to join the European Union, over the past 10 years we have signed loans of nearly EUR 7 billion for projects in this part of the world. We have helped both build and upgrade infrastructure, and, through the Western Balkans Investment Framework established in 2009, we have been able to address issues related to poor project development and to cross border coordination.”
The WBIF was developed jointly with the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Council of Europe development bank (CEB) as well as EU Member States and the Western Balkan countries. The objective is to facilitate the preparation and the financing of priority projects by pooling and coordinating different sources of finance and technical assistance, with a focus on infrastructure sectors, including social infrastructure.
The Western Balkans Summit is the 2nd annual summit of heads of states and governments of Western Balkans. It takes place in the Vienna, Austria, following the 2014 Conference of Western Balkan States that took place in Berlin, Germany. This year’s summit is part of the Berlin Process, a five-year process marked by yearly summits in order to accompany progress toward future enlargement of the European Union in the Western Balkans region.
* This designation, the signature of the Framework Agreement and the operations of the EIB in Kosovo* do not affect, and are without prejudice to, the position expressed by the EU Member States on Kosovo*’s status and are in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion of 22 July 2010 on Kosovo*’s declaration of independence.