CEB hosts the Steering Committee of the Western Balkans Investment Framework

6 December 2012

The CEB hosted the 7th Steering Committee of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), a funding initiative that matches grants and loans for projects to improve infrastructure, foster socio-economic development and speed up EU accession processes in the Western Balkans. The meeting gathered representatives of the European Commission, of partner IFIs (EBRD, EIB, KfW, the World Bank and the CEB) and of both the beneficiary and donor countries.

The Steering Committee was co-chaired by Austria and the European Commission, the CEB ensuring co-chairmanship of the “Project Financiers Group” (PFG)1. The meeting was opened by CEB’s Vice-Governor, Mr. Mikolaj Dowgielewicz. It provided an opportunity to analyze socio-economic developments in the countries of the WBIF. € 11 million of grants for key infrastructures were also approved. These grants are expected to leverage loans from the IFIs in the region of € 586 million.

The CEB, in collaboration with the European Commission, presented the situation and prospects for investments in the social sector and highlighted its importance to ensure future economic growth, competitiveness and social cohesion in the region.

The CEB emphasized the importance of aligning the WBIF objectives with regional strategies, the “Europe 2020”, and the region’s response so-called SEE 2020.

1 The PFG is the body responsible for selecting the WBIF grant applications and prepare projects to be presented at the Steering Committee. It is co-chaired by the European Commission and an IFI changing every six months.