• EIB Global plans to play a key role in the rollout of the EU energy support package for the Western Balkans.
  • Vice-President Pavlova also underlined the importance of combining EIB loans and EU grants for new regional projects in sustainable transport, environment, healthcare and education.
  • The EU bank intends to deploy more experts on the ground and step up advisory support to implement the Economic and Investment Plan.

At the EU Western Balkans Summit held in Tirana, Albania, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Lilyana Pavlova pledged support to the region to cope with urgent short-term needs stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine. This support will come from EIB Global, the arm of the Bank focused on operations outside the European Union, in the form of new projects that it plans to finance in the region to deploy clean energy, expand electricity networks and storage infrastructure, and help the private sector implement energy efficiency measures. She confirmed that the Bank is fully aligned with the €1 billion energy support package announced by the European Commission and plans to play a key role in its implementation.

“We are happy to see that the package contains assistance to improve energy sector policy and the related legislative and institutional framework. This will help EIB Global and our local partners roll out investments in infrastructure or provide financing to the private sector more quickly,” said Vice-President Pavlova.

In addition to support in the energy field, the EU bank will enhance its comprehensive mix of lending, blending and advisory services and deploy more experts on the ground to support connectivity, the green and digital transition, education and healthcare. Promoting the growth, digitalisation and decarbonisation of the private sector will also be a priority for the Bank. As part of this, the European Investment Fund (EIF), a subsidiary of the EIB Group, has launched the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) Guarantee 4 SME Resilience, which aims to respond to the economic difficulties by increasing access to finance for some 4 000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the region.

The Vice-President also spoke about the EU grants recently approved by the Western Balkans Investment Framework: “These grants are helping us to move ahead with important railway connectivity projects in North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as investments in the education sector in Montenegro. Here in Albania, we are undertaking preparatory work to transform Tirana into a green and sustainable city and look forward to working with the government, the European Commission and our colleagues at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on important railway investments.”

As already announced, EIB Global is also working on the development of new renewable energy projects, such as a solar plant in Kosovo* and wind farms in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bank will be actively assisting the private sector to finance energy efficiency measures and investments to accelerate the green transition.

Background information

About EIB Global:

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance.  EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world



About the EIB in the Western Balkans:

The EIB is a leading international financier in the Western Balkans. Since 2009, the Bank has financed projects totalling almost €9.5 billion in the region. In addition to its continued support for the reconstruction and upgrade of public infrastructure, since 2010 the EIB has expanded into many new areas, such as healthcare, research and development, education and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For detailed information on EIB activities in the Western Balkans, please visit the following website: www.eib.org/en/publications/the-eib-in-the-western-balkans

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