WBIF'S 5 Year Anniversary 

On 9 December the 11th Steering Committee (SC) of the WBIF was held at the premises of EIB in Luxembourg. This was a special occasion, constituting its 5th anniversary. In these 5 years, WBIF has evolved as the most advanced cooperation and coordination platform of its kind for donors, financial institutions and beneficiary countries. 


Some 90 participants from the various groups of stakeholders were present; beneficiaries, bilateral donors, IFIs, regional organisations and the Commission. The SC focused in the morning on the economic situation and outlook with a particular focus on connectivity in region. Overall, the economic analysis showed that the “mild recovery” following the financial crisis has now turned into a stagnant scenario. It also took note of the preparatory work in the areas of energy and transport that allows identifying projects for investments and noted the potential for – but also the limitations of – private sector participation. Latest findings indicate that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) realistically can target between 5 – 10% of the overall public investment needs in the Western Balkans.


The SC continued the discussions on the

1. New implementation structure for IPA funds to the WBIF and

2. New methodology to support infrastructure projects in the Western Balkans. 


At the meeting a report from the special WBIF Task Force, composed by the beneficiaries, IFIs, bilateral donors and the Commission, was presented. Based on this, the SC took note of the new implementation structure and approved the new methodology to be applied as of 1 January 2015. The SC will review the new structure in one year on the basis of a report by the special WBIF Task Force.


Finally, the SC approved 6 TA projects under Round 12 for a total of €8.78 million and the revised BiH comprehensive flood project for an amount of €4.88 million. At the meeting the next round for TA project applications was launched (round 13) with the similar eligibility criteria as the previous two rounds - projects that 1) are strengthening or unblocking a concrete project in the pipeline and/or 2) have a clear regional impact. Deadline for applications will be on 20 February 2014.


At the end of the meeting, the WBIF co-chair was handed over from Germany to Italy for the year 2015 and Director Gerhard Schumann-Hitzler was thanked for his outstanding role as chair and promoter of the WBIF over the last five years before moving on to Neighbourhood East.


More details about WBIF operations as well as the Steering Commitee meeting presentations can be found here.


December SC Award Photo

Director Gerhard Schumann-Hitzler receiving thanks from the Steering Committee Members for his five years of WBIF leadership. Amongst these, front row from left to right, Nigel Kinnarney (Deputy Head of Unit, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany), Wolfgang Schlaeger (Head of Sector, DG NEAR), Gerhard Schumann-Hitzler (Director D3, DG NEAR), Olav Reinertsen (Head of WBIF Secretariat, DG NEAR), Morten Jung (Head of Unit, D3 - DG NEAR) (c) EC


Project Data


Here you can find information on investment flows from the European Commission, international financial institutions and bilateral financing institutions and donors to the Western Balkans since 2007 in the following sectors: energy, environment, private sector development, transport and social issues.


projects Investment projects database
ipa_projects IPA financed projects database

WBIF Projects


Details of all approved projects under the WBIF can be found on WBIF Projects. This information is provided by the Infrastructure Projects Facility (IPF), the EC-financed mechanism that supports the preparation of investment projects.