- Two loans signed during official visit of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk
- Motorway will improve living conditions in Mostar and Zenica and create economic opportunities as part of the Economic Resilience Initiative
- EIB reaffirms strong commitment to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards EU membership
During an official visit by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EIB today signed two loans totalling EUR 150m for the construction of a motorway. The loans to the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina will finance two sections of the Corridor VC pan-European road link, connecting Budapest and Eastern Croatia to the Adriatic coast through Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are part of the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative that aims to improve living conditions and stabilise economies affected by conflict and migration. The loans will help to consolidate economic fundamentals and facilitate the EU accession process.
The EIB has so far signed financing of nearly EUR 2.5bn for projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina including today’s signatures. It has already committed nearly EUR 700m of financing in the Western Balkans, contributing to economic resilience in the region.
EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco commented: “Bosnia and Herzegovina is showing determination to continue on its path towards European integration and the EIB is ready to help with financing and advice. Today’s loans show what the Economic Resilience Initiative stands for: helping countries overcome the consequences of the migration crisis and build a better future for their citizens.”
The Corridor VC motorway extends the EU-wide TEN-T network to neighbouring countries. The project is expected to facilitate trade, develop tourism, promote regional and national economic growth and ultimately contribute to economic and social cohesion in the region. The two projects will reduce travel times and congestion and improve road safety
The loans will be used to construct two new sections of this vital connectivity infrastructure and are supported by a guarantee from the EU budget under the External Lending Mandate (ELM).
The bigger loan of EUR 100m will finance the section of Corridor VC to the south of Mostar: the construction of a new 21 km long tolled motorway, including a 2.6 km long twin tunnel and ancillary structures between Mostar South and Pocitelj in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The second project, financed with a EUR 50m loan, is Zenica North: the construction of a new 2.8 km long tolled motorway section, including a 2.4 km long twin tunnel and ancillary structures between Ponirak and Vraca in the centre of the country.
The Bank is equally involved with the relevant authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, acting as a lead financier for an EU investment grant of EUR 19.4m currently in the approval process for the Zenica North section and seeking an additional EU investment grant for the Mostar South section from the Western Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF). WBIF is a regional blending facility combining grants from the EU budget and loans to support socioeconomic development in the region.