EIB and European Commission to triple advisory support for the Western Balkans under the JASPERS programme
- The institutions agreed to deliver the largest ever budget for EIB advisory services under the JASPERS programme in the region, totalling €20 million.
- With these increased advisory services, the EIB aims to support the enlargement process through the preparation of sustainable projects and strategies.
- Since 2005, advisory support under the JASPERS programme has mobilised over €317 billion of investments for hundreds of new projects in 27 countries.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission announced a new agreement enabling the Bank to triple its advisory assistance for the Western Balkans and potentially Türkiye at the JASPERS Stakeholders’ Meeting in Brussels. The support will be delivered under the institutions’ joint JASPERS programme, entailing the largest ever budget for technical assistance of up to €20 million and enhanced teams of experts over the next six years.
“This new agreement commits record resources to support the EU enlargement process by helping the countries prepare vital strategies, plans and investments, while strengthening their project preparation and implementation capacities. This increased EIB advisory support will allow our partners in the Western Balkans to efficiently implement more projects under the EU Economic and Investment Plan, following EIB’s policy priorities.” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska. “Under our dedicated arm for activities outside the EU — EIB Global — with EIB advisory services and the European Commission, we are determined to ensure a sustainable future for people in the EU neighbourhood countries, helping them advance with reforms, economic growth and climate action.”
Since 2005, the EIB’s JASPERS advisory programme has worked in 27 countries and supported the preparation of hundreds of projects worth over €317 billion in the areas of sustainable transport, environmental protection, innovation, healthcare and the green transition both within and outside the European Union.
Acting Director at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) Mathieu Bousquet said: “We are very glad to have signed a new contribution agreement with the EIB for the continuation of JASPERS advisory support in the Western Balkans and Türkiye. Through JASPERS we continue to support the IPA Beneficiaries in their path towards the European Union through the preparation and implementation of infrastructure projects that are technically sound, environmentally sustainable, as well as economically and financially viable. It is worth noting that JASPERS is also advising EU Member States on investments and prepared previous accession processes. I am convinced the advisory services offered by JASPERS will continue to generate positive social impact and economic benefits to citizens. We expect to contribute to reducing travel times and improving availability and access to drinking water, clean energy, secure digital infrastructure, energy efficient education and healthcare infrastructure. This is a direct continuation of our support previously made in the region and the ongoing work carried out in the Eastern Partnership by EPIC. JASPERS assistance goes hand in hand with the sector priorities underlined in the EU Global Gateway the Economic and Investment Plans and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.”
JASPERS has been active in the Western Balkans since 2011, and the latest agreement builds on the success of over 100 advisory assignments for the preparation of €9 billion worth projects in the transport, water, waste and energy efficiency sectors. An example of such support is the preparation of a capacity building plan for the Albanian railways, resulting in the allocation of a €136 million investment grant from the Western Balkans Investment Framework in order to rehabilitate 120 km of railway line from Vorë to the border with Montenegro.
The event also highlighted JASPERS’ increased assistance for Ukraine, Moldova and other EU Eastern Partnership countries. Through a dedicated Facility for Eastern Partnership Investment in Connectivity (EPIC), these countries have been receiving JASPERS advisory support targeting improvements in transport connectivity both within the Eastern Partnership region and between partner countries and the European Union, with a strong focus on the extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes have been created to facilitate grain exports from Ukraine to countries in need, and in the long-run to improve the transport connectivity of Ukraine and Moldova with the European Union. In partnership with the European Commission, JASPERS developed a strategy for the EU integration of the Ukrainian and Moldovan rail systems. The programme’s experts also helped secure EU Connecting Europe Facility funding for the creation of border crossing points allowing for faster and higher-capacity transport of goods.