30.01.2020, EBRD Offices, Belgrade
Participants (EBRD): EBRD Representatives Belgrade Office, EBRD Representatives from the Regional Offices, EBRD Delegation from London (Led by Ms Susan Goeransson, Director, Head of Infrastructure Europe)
EC/TCT: Alain Baron, Nerejda Hoxha, Dejan Lasica
Main objective : exchange views on on-going activities of the Bank in the Region, TCT Action plans and contribution to the forthcoming EU-WB summit. Defining potential synergies in particular in the field of the Technical Assistance.
- TCT Interim Director presented the current activities and the actions included in three Action Plans respectively Rail, Road Safety and Transport Facilitation, as well as the new priorities for 2020 (ITS / Resilience / Maintenance / Project prioritization).
- EBRD welcomed the TCT Permanent Secretariat’s approach towards project prioritization and review of the Investment Plans. In addition, in order to speed up the implementation of the projects, EBRD agreed that there would be a need to review the WBIF’s approval mechanism in order to shorter the period from project approval to project groundbreaking.
- EBRD will be participating (in the framework of WBIF) to Structural Reform Facility which will be established in view to focus on the reform of all state enterprises not just in transport sector (SOE = State Owned Entreprises represent a critical aspect in the WB6, this point was underlined by all three IFIs met by TCT representatives).
- Both EBRD and TCT agreed that there was a need to adapt the existing set of transport projects to the new developments taking place in Western Balkans (depopulation for instance) but also to consider the new EU proposals to “green” the economy. The is an opportunity to “green” road transport (including new technologies in road transport projects) while more attention should be paid towards more sustainable modes. It is imperative to ensure that the same TEN-T and interoperability standards are applied on all infrastructure projects in the region.
- EBRD and TCT Permanent Secretariat agreed to set up a closer cooperation when addressing the authorities and stakeholders on priority policies and reforms. In this context, the secretariat could play a role of facilitator in the region and with Member States.
- EBRD recalled that it was willing to invest on road safety and border crossings project but due to lack of interest in the past for such investments it will be highly valuable TCT Permanent Secretariat support to raise awareness on such needs.
- TCT Permanent Secretariat finally highlighted the need to broaden the transport infrastructure projects’ scope, in particular in ensuring that border crossing facilities (when necessary) – are included from the beginning.
- EBRD proposed to share the TORs of their recent study relating to the increase of investment efficiency in BiH which could be further extended to other partners in the region.