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EU to fund clean energy projects in Western Balkans

The European Commission has announced a new financial package to support 14 investment flagships in energy, environment, transport, human capital, and private sector support in the Western Balkans, worth a total of 2.1 billion euros (30 June).

This is the fifth investment package under the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, prepared in “close cooperation” with the Western Balkans partners and the international financial institutions, the European Commission said.

“With this new investment package we are sending a loud and clear message to our Western Balkans partners: their future is within the EU and we are making steady progress to close the economic development divide. These projects will better connect the region from within and with the EU, help decarbonise their economies, and support the competitiveness of the private sector in the region,” said Olivér Várhelyi, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement. “Now, I call on our Western Balkans partners and international financial institutions to roll out these projects as soon as possible so citizens and businesses in the region can reap the benefits from these investments.”

The 14 investment projects include green energy projects such as rehabilitation of hydropower plants in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and energy efficiency measures in North Macedonia. Other projects will also seek to improve North Macedonia’s transmission network.

In terms of climate and the environment, the projects include rehabilitation of Sarajevo and measures to improve the overall efficiency of water supply in the Sarajevo canton.

The investment package also includes 528 million euros in EU grants from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), additional bilateral contributions from EU Member States and Norway, loans from international financing institutions, and contributions from the economies of the Western Balkans.

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