Partner Financial Organisations

European Union and the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans are an integral part of Europe. We share a continent, and we work best when we work together.

The European Union and the region work together towards

  • the long-term economic recovery
  • green & digital transition
  • faster regional integration and 
  • convergence with the EU

The Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans 2021-2027, put forward by the European Commission in October 2020, is a clear sign of the EU’s commitment to these goals in the region.

Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans 2021-2027

The Economic and Investment Plan identifies 10 investment flagships and allocates a substantial financial package of up to €9 billion in EU funds, with a potential to mobilise up to €20 billion of investments through the Western Balkan Guarantee Facility.

The Plan supports investments on sustainable transport, clean energy, environment and climate, digital future, competitiveness of the business sector, human capital development.

The new EU connectivity strategy, the Global Gateway, launched in September 2021, builds on the objectives and flagship investments of the Economic & Investment Plan for Western Balkans in the areas of transport, digital and energy, which contribute to strengthened connectivity within the region and with the EU.

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) includes:

  • the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility
  • the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility

The WBIF is the main vehicle for the implementation of such ambitious recovery plan for the region.

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Up to €9bn in EU funding (IPA III 2021-2027)

Up to €20bn of investments leveraged through the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility

10 investment flagships

Green and digital transition

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Spring updates for WBIF factsheets
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15-04-2024

Spring updates for WBIF factsheets

Overviews by WBIF sector, transport corridor and bilateral donor-funded projects are now available.

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EU guarantees to unlock €750 million for small businesses in the Western Balkans
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15-04-2024

EU guarantees to unlock €750 million for small businesses in the Western Balkans

The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the EIB Group, has signed guarantee agreements with 11 banks and f...

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Better living conditions for students in North Macedonia as renovation programme begins
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12-02-2024

Better living conditions for students in North Macedonia as renovation programme begins

Works start on two dormitories in Skopje as part of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme that also improve...

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Western Balkans Investment Framework

The Western Balkans Investment Framework is an EU initiative, uniting regional beneficiaries, international financial institutions, and bilateral donors to enhance the European perspective of the Western Balkans. Due to its collaborative nature in line with the ‘Team Europe’ approach, the WBIF has been identified as the main vehicle for the implementation of the ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

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Financing Facilities

The European Union, through the WBIF, contributes to programmes and facilities that provide financial instruments to:

  • improve capacity & access to affordable finance for the SMEs
  • support the regional measures to cut CO2 emissions
  • help create a sustainable market for energy efficiency

Guarantee instruments facilities help to reduce:

  • the cost of financing for public & private investments
  • the risk for investors.

Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility

The Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF), co-financed by the EU through WBIF, aims at improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Western Balkans. In addition, WB EDIF also aims to create:

  • a more favourable financing environment for SMEs, and 
  • a sustainable equity market on the long-term (including)

This includes the promotion of policy reforms to create the adequate business climate for SME financing.

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Connectivity Agenda 2015-2020

Connectivity Agenda 2015-2020

The Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans builds on solid work already in progress. In 2015, the European Union and its Western Balkan partners set out on an ambitious journey to improve connectivity - within the region and with the EU. 

Five years on, we are delivering what we set out to achieve. The projects under the Connectivity Agenda are bridges of cooperation, bringing people and economies closer together. Better roads and railways are bringing faster, safer travel and a boost to trade. More efficient energy systems are delivering greater energy security and less pollution.

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3.7bn

Of total investment leveraged

1bn

In EU Grants

124m

In technical assistance for project preparation

45

Projects supported

45000

Jobs Created

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WBIF Newsletter April 2024
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19-04-2024

WBIF Newsletter April 2024

WBIF Newsletter April 2024

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WBIF Newsletter April 2023
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05-04-2023

WBIF Newsletter April 2023

WBIF Highlights Q1 2023

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Economic and Investment Plan: Endorsed Flagship Investments 2020-2022
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01-03-2023

Economic and Investment Plan: Endorsed Flagship Investments 2020-2022

Booklet on flagship investments endorsed under the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans in 202...

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Partner Financial Organisations

Western Balkans Partners