At the Berlin Process Leaders’ Summit held in Tirana on Monday (16 October), Vice-President of the EU’s bank European Investment Bank (EIB) Teresa Czerwińska reiterated the bank’s commitment to, among other things, the green transition in Western Balkans.
As a contributor to the EU Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, EIB Global, the bank’s global investment arm, will support the new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans by “ramping up efforts” under the Just Transition Initiative, the EIB said in a press release.
“We are as committed as ever to supporting the enlargement process. This support contributes to greater connectivity and a smoother green transition, benefiting fully from the digital agenda and strengthening education and health systems. Since 2009, the EIB has provided nearly 11 billion euros in public and private sector investment finance in the Western Balkans. We have financed trans-European energy networks and provided inclusive finance for small and medium businesses (SMEs) — investments that link the region physically and economically with the European Union and boost convergence,” said Ms Czerwińska.
In close cooperation with the European Commission and other partners under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), EIB Global is “actively pursuing” sustainable investments including the deployment of clean and renewable energy projects in the public sector and among SMEs, the bank said in the press release.
“We all agree on the need for better governance, simpler regulations, leveraging the digital transition, enhancing competitiveness by boosting trade and increasing the role of the private sector, and faster deployment of renewable energy. We fully recognise that these recommendations are not easy to implement, but we believe that collectively — including through the Berlin Process — we can use the accession process to boost convergence and expedite the region’s progress to EU membership,” said the EIB Vice-President.
In 2023, the EIB has thus far signed 700 million euros of investments, including a credit line for 100 million euros to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects by SMEs in North Macedonia.