29.01.2020, EIB Offices, Belgrade
Exchange of views on plans and priorities in Western Balkans
Participants (EIB) : EIB Representatives Belgrade Office, EIB Representatives Luxembourg (led by Matteo Rivellini) Office, JASPERS, EU Delegation Serbia
EC/TCT : Alain Baron, Nerejda Hoxha
Purpose of discussion.
Overview regarding Bank’s portfolio in Western Balkans and perspectives in view to set up an updated list of projects, with a special attention paid to “green projects” in view of the EU-Western Balkan summit of Zagreb.
In this context, both TCT and EIB agreed that existing projects (like Corridor Vc road) should be reshaped to encompass green elements like charging stations for electric cars along the main long-distance arteries, deployment of ITS and climate change adaptation measures.
JASPERS showed interest and willingness to cooperate in different programs in order to accommodate the change in road infrastructure from today’s roads/vehicles to the one of the future.
EIB was interested in the Permanent Secretariat approach on producing a list of priority projects to be used by IFIs to streamline the investments needs. TCT presented its approach on establishing a regional Investment Plan which would consider projects also according the capacity of each partner to finance the project without undermining its financial stability.
Proposals for Zagreb Summit
- Corridor Vc rail and road, with a focus on rail on the access to the port of Ploce and the heavy maintenance of the line. The exact content of the rail one still has to be defined (EIB was asked to support the material) while the road component should also include some new elements making it more compliant with the “green deal” (charging stations / etc…)
- Corridor VIII. Rail connexion MK-BG (the missing international section);
- Corridor VIII (rail Albania). Reconstruction of some key parts of the rail network, under certain conditions (see below);
- Corridor X. Rail section Nis-Pristina, a possible future “peace” railway.
- Corridor X. Rail section Zagreb-Belgrade (for which an agreement has already been signed)
The Permanent Secretariat proposed to accompany the potential investments with conditionality based on the implementation of the agreed action plans.
Project Implementation (ongoing financed projects)
- EIB is facilitating the talks between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the operation of Svilaj Bridge and the respective border crossing aiming to put it in operation before the Zagreb Summit.
- EIB is has currently in its portfolio railway projects in Albania, Montenegro and Serbia; road projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia; IWW in Danube and Sava River;
- EIB could be interested in supporting small scale actions “quick win” projects: to be followed up in the coming months.
- TCT presented the Action Plans on Rail, Road safety and Transport Facilitation as the instrument produced by the Secretariat to guide and monitor the progress of the region in getting closer to EU standards.
- EIB highlighted the need for the Secretariat to play the role of the facilitator in discussion between the South East European Parties and Member States in projects of common interests, border crossing issues, in particular with Croatia and Bulgaria.
- A next 17+1 Summit is scheduled to take place in China around mid-April 2020.
[fusion_fontawesome icon=”fa-file-pdf far” size=”24px” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” alignment=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” margin_top=”” margin_right=”” margin_bottom=”” margin_left=”” circle=”no” iconcolor=”#dd2400″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””][/fusion_fontawesome] Changing the Connectivity Governance in Western Balkans: The Transport Community’s contribution.