>@EIB
©EIB
  • The project ensures improved access to wastewater services to over 213 000 people in the municipality of Mitrovica, Kosovo
  • This is the EIB’s second investment in wastewater treatment plants and environmental protection in Kosovo
  • The project will reduce pollution of water sources and improve sanitation standards

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, continues to support vital infrastructure in Kosovo by investing €19.8 million for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and the rehabilitation and extension of the existing wastewater collection system in the municipality of Mitrovica. The project will provide access to modern sanitation services to more than 213 000 people while protecting the environment and public health. This is the EIB’s second investment in the water sector in Kosovo since 2020 when the EIB unlocked €11 million for a wastewater treatment facility and the rehabilitation of an existing facility in the municipality of Gjilan.

The development of such major infrastructure will ensure the provision of high-level sanitation services, help decrease environmental pollution and enhance connectivity by reducing trans-boundary contamination, especially in the river Ibar and its tributaries. As the investment will improve living conditions contributing to economic and social resilience and growth, it is being provided under the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative. The project is supported by both technical assistance and investment grants for preparation and implementation via the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and is co-financed with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for the Western Balkans said: “We are happy to sign the second investment for the wastewater sector in Kosovo in under two years. The project supports the objectives of the Green Agenda for environmental protection and the Economic and Investment Plan, notably Flagship 7 – Waste and Wastewater Management. Modern sanitation services will considerably improve the quality of life for people in Mitrovica and increase resilience to natural disasters and climate change. On a larger scale, it will promote socioeconomic progress and regional connections, while helping the country address its most pressing infrastructural challenges in line with EU environmental requirements and the sustainable development of the Western Balkan region.

Hekuran Murati, Minister of Finance and Transfer in the Republic of Kosovo, added: “I welcome and strongly support the inception of the project for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant in the Municipality of Mitrovica, which also reflects the Government’s dedication towards fulfilling its promises to the citizens. The project is a firm step towards environmental protection and public health safety, which were highlighted on our Government’s programme. Furthermore, it brings Kosovo closer on its path towards EU accession, through the alignment with the environmental prerequisites, specifically the EU Directive on Urban Waste Water Treatment. We look forward to seeing the project take shape and we are determined to spearhead it to its completion thanks to your continuous support and cooperation.”

Tomáš Szunyog, Head of the EU Office in Kosovo and EU Special Representative. “The European Union as a long-standing supporter of the environment has supported project preparation and is co-financing this important investment with financing of €5 million via WBIF. The project aims to improve environmental conditions by minimising pollution in the trans-boundary river of Ibar and improving the social welfare of people living in the Mitrovica region.

Background information:

About the EIB in the Balkans

The EIB is a leading international financier in the Western Balkans. Since 2009, the Bank has financed projects over €9 billion in the region. Besides continuing its support for the reconstruction and upgrading of public infrastructure, since 2010 the EIB has expanded into many new areas, such as healthcare, research and development, education and SMEs. For more information regarding the EIB’s projects in Kosovo, please refer to: https://www.eib.org/en/projects/regions/enlargement/the-western-balkans/kosovo/index.htm

Economic Resilience Initiative

The Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) was created in 2016 in response to a call from the European Council. The objective of the initiative is to help shift patterns of migration in the medium to long term and provide support to forcibly displaced populations by increasing the resilience of economies to future shocks. The ERI is doing this by mobilising finance to support growth, job creation, vital infrastructure projects and social cohesion in the EU’s neighbouring regions.

Western Balkans Investment Framework

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) is a regional blending facility supporting EU enlargement and socio-economic development in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The WBIF was established in 2009 as a joint initiative of the European Commission, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and several bilateral donors.

About Team Europe and the COVID-19 response in the Western Balkans

As part of the #TeamEurope strategy, the EU's global response to COVID-19, the EIB Group has rapidly mobilised €5.2 billion outside the EU, accelerating financing and targeted technical assistance. For the Western Balkan countries specifically, the EIB has prepared an immediate support package of €1.7 billion primarily for the SME and healthcare sectors (https://www.eib.org/en/press/all/2020-111-eib-group-to-contribute-eur1-7-billion-to-the-eu-s-covid-19-response-package-for-the-western-balkans). The total EU financial support package for the Western Balkans amounts to more than €3.3 billion.

 

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and it is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence