New investments given green light at WBIF 4th Operational Board

New investments given green light at WBIF 4th Operational Board


WBIF Operational Board members gave a positive opinion on 30 June in Oslo, Norway, to 14 new investments flagships in transport, energy, environment, human capital, and private sector support in the Western Balkans, worth, in total €2.1 billion.

The European Commission contributes with €528 million in EU grants from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), whilst the rest is provided by bilateral contributions from EU Member States and Norway, loans from international financing institutions, and contributions from the economies of the Western Balkans. In addition, a total of 11 technical assistance grants totalling €11.2 million were green-lighted to prepare project investments.

The endorsement of these new investment and technical assistance grants for public and private blending operations represents a new push towards the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans 2021-2027.

A summary of these most recent investments can be found in the updated WBIF Endorsed Flagship Investments booklet 2020-2023.

The Operational Board was preceded on 29 June by the 4th Strategic Board meeting, chaired by the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General of Neighbourhood and Enlargement (DG NEAR), Katarína Mathernová. The Strategic Board meeting took stock of the EIP implementation, discussed just transition and transport policies and bid farewell to DG NEAR Deputy Director-General Katarína Mathernová as chair. The WBIF ‘Key Achievements’ report for 2022 was also presented.

More than 100 representatives from 27 EU Member States, Norway, the European Parliament, bilateral donors, Western Balkan partners, international financial institutions, the Energy Community, the Transport Community and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) were in attendance.

The Strategic and Operational Boards are key bodies in WBIF governance. The Strategic Board advises the European Commission on the strategic orientations of the WBIF and supports overall decision-making on WBIF investments. The Operational Board for Blending emits an opinion on public and private sectors blending operations. They meet at least twice a year, co-chaired by the European Commission and one of the bilateral donors rotating annually. The co-chair for 2023 is Norway.

Just published WBIF Key Achievements 2022 (Annual Report) here

Latest updates EIP Flagship investments endorsed 2020-2023 here

Fresh video Selected WBIF flagship investments progress (June 2023) here

Latest updates WBIF Bilateral donors factsheet (June 2023) here

DG NEAR Press release here