Kosovo*: Team Europe - EIB Global support for railway network modernisation reaches €80 million

  • The EU Bank is providing €38 million for the modernisation of rail route 10 through its EIB Global branch.
  • An improved railway network in Kosovo will increase passenger and freight capacity, reduce travel times and boost regional cooperation, in line with the EU connectivity agenda.
  • To date, the EIB has invested over €1.2 billion in the Western Balkans rail sector, supporting regional cooperation and connectivity.

EIB Global, the branch of the European Investment Bank (EIB) devoted to activities outside the European Union, has signed a €38 million agreement for the rehabilitation of 148 km of railway on rail route 10 in Kosovo. The renewal of track and the railway stations on Kosovo’s international rail network will help increase travel speed and improve passenger and freight capacity. These improvements will lead to a modal shift from road to rail and contribute to more environmentally sustainable mobility in the region.

As part of the Western Balkans core railway network and an extension of the TEN-T, the Kosovo rail route 10 project will improve regional connectivity and integration on the Orient/East-Mediterranean Corridor. The EIB loan comes in addition to investment and technical assistance grants channelled through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), together with a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This is the second EIB loan tranche for this railway project, reaching the total amount of €80 million for the modernisation of Kosovo’s railways.

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, who is responsible for the Bank’s activities in the Western Balkans, said: “We see this investment as proof of our commitment to promoting regional integration and connectivity within the region and the European Union. The creation of modern, sustainable and efficient transport infrastructure is a prerequisite for stronger economic relations and better living conditions. The project is in line with EU Economic and Investment Plan and Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which aims to double rail freight by 2050. That is why it is important for us, as the EU climate bank, to help the region meet its climate and economic targets by reviving this green mode of transport, to make it more attractive for passengers and trade routes.

Kosovo Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers Hekuran Murati said: “Rail route 10 is one of the most important railway lines connecting Kosovo to other countries and its rehabilitation remains a long-standing priority. The agreement that we are signing formally today is of great importance to ensuring that we are connected with our trading partners and guaranteeing mobility between our country and the region. Our government considers the EIB to be a key partner for strategic development and European integration, which is reflected on our joint investments in the rail sector, in addition to the numerous ongoing projects in the social, environment and health sectors.”

EU Ambassador in Kosovo Tomáš Szunyog stated: “The rehabilitation and upgrade of regional rail route 10 in Kosovo, which is part of the Trans-European Transport Network that connects Kosovo with the region and the rest of Europe, is particularly important. It contributes to Kosovo's transport connectivity and will contribute to economic growth and job creation. It will also help integrate Kosovo into a single regional and EU market.”

In the last ten years, the EIB has supported the global rail sector by providing more than €39 billion of investments, helping to construct or upgrade almost 2 000 km of tracks and 304 stations. In the Western Balkans, EIB Global is a lead financier of strategic railway routes and provides technical and advisory support for the preparation, planning and implementation of projects for the modernisation or upgrading of the rail network. To date, the EIB has invested over €1.2 billion in the rail sector across the Western Balkans, supporting regional cooperation and connectivity.