The project concerns the construction, expansion, modernisation and refurbishment of public education and kindergarten facilities in Hungary. EIB support will come as a framework loan directed to five distinct central government grant programmes with municipalities throughout Hungary as the final beneficiaries. The five programmes are:
• Classroom construction programme;
• Gymnasium construction programme;
• School swimming pool development programme;
• Construction, improvement or renovation of other sports facilities with mixed school and community use; and
• Pre-school facility investment.
The investments respond to local needs that arise both from longstanding development lags, especially in the poorer regions, and from new policy initiatives. As to the latter, the government has introduced a policy of daily physical exercise for school children in the context of recent education reforms. Moreover, the central government has introduced compulsory pre-school attendance from age 3 (taking effect on 1 September 2015), which has triggered major investment needs for pre-school facilities. As to the longstanding development needs, in many schools in Hungary, gyms are either missing or sub-standard in terms of size, equipment and the physical state of the building. What is more, many pupils lack the opportunity to learn swimming, especially in rural areas.
Educational facilities are not specifically mentioned in Directive 2011/92/EU on environmental impact assessment (EIA); however the project is covered by Annex II of this directive in relation to urban development. The Bank's services will verify the screening decision of the competent authority during appraisal and assess whether an EIA is required.
It is expected that the project will have positive social benefits, as education is an element of social cohesion.
The Bank will require the promoter to ensure that contracts for the implementation of the project have been/shall be tendered in accordance with the relevant applicable EU procurement legislation (Directives 2004/18/EC and/or 2004/17/EC as well as Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC) as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU, with publication of tender notices in the EU Official Journal, as and where required.
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