Excellencies, Prime Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is great to join you to celebrate the Berlin Process that has brought the region and its citizens closer together - and closer to the EU.
As we have heard already, the funding associated with this progress has been impressive. And this support did not diminish during these times of need: the Team Europe initiative – to which EIB is the leading financier - underlines the EU’s commitment and solidarity with the region.
Building on sound partnerships, building on the ambitious commitments undertaken by the Western Balkans and the European Commission’s substantial Economic and Investment Plan, we have a solid basis for the Berlin Process.
The European Investment Bank, the EU bank, is committed to the region. Since 2009 we have committed almost €10 billion to the Western Balkans, supporting private sector development and vital infrastructure. In 2020 we committed almost €1 billion of financing for investments in a greener, more digital, inclusive future.
Ladies and gentlemen, EIB is a bridge where EU policy meets sound projects. We firmly support the EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans and the position that the Western Balkan’s future lies in the EU.