European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and the Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama today visited the Vlora bypass. The project was funded by a €20 million grant from the European Union, and €18 million each from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The 29-kilometre road segment will shorten travel times to the Albanian Riviera, increase road safety, facilitate trade, promote regional and national growth.

Commissioner Várhelyi said: I am delighted to visit the Vlora bypass today. This is a fine example of our bilateral assistance to Albania, and shows how we can make a difference in the region thanks to our economic and investment plan. The Vlora bypass brings new opportunities for Albanian businesses to reach new markets, provides better access to services for residents and a better travel experience for tourists, while increasing road safety for all.”

The event was also attended by the EIB representative in Albania Petia Manolova, and the Head of Albania for the EBRD Ekaterina Solovova.

According to Manolova, “As a long-standing partner to Albania, the EIB remains committed to the country’s sustainable economic development and regional integration. This project is an excellent example of our joint ambitions to contribute to better connectivity and more opportunities for companies and people from Vlora, surrounding areas and the whole region. Under our new branch, EIB Global, we plan to upscale our support for these kinds of high-impact projects.”

Prime Minister Edi Rama said: “We are returning here together with the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, the Albanian Road Authority (ARRSH) team and the workers who continue to take care of details beyond the road itself for further urban and environmental restoration improvements. Today, the European Commissioner for Enlargement, a valued friend, was able to be here as well, since he could not attend on 7 July for the opening of the bypass, vital for relieving the flow of cars, especially on weekends.”

The bypass around the city of Vlora is a vital connection in southwestern Albania. Once all remaining works are executed after the summer season of 2022, including the finishing of slopes and junctions, it will improve road transport conditions in the town of Vlora and the surrounding areas, including on the coastal road along Vlora bay.