Additional €1.2 billion WBIF investment package for infrastructure and entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans

Additional €1.2 billion WBIF investment package for infrastructure and entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans


The WBIF Operational Board endorsed on 2 July in London, United Kingdom a €1.2 billion investment package to support eight new flagship investments under the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan (EIP) for the Western Balkans. The package includes €300 million in EU grants from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III).

The investments will be rolled out in close cooperation with the Western Balkans partners and international financial institutions and cover three priorities of the EIP:

  • Environment and climate: Reconstruction and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Sustainable transport: advancing on Corridor X rail infrastructure, with the high-speed Belgrade – Velika Plana connection enabling a faster flow of passengers and freight in the region.
  • Support to the business sector: launch of a new facility for innovation and green transformation of enterprises in the region.

Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, said: “The EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans is being rolled out swiftly, with the shared ambition to bring the region closer to the EU, as the new investment package adopted today demonstrates. The Western Balkans Investment Framework has made a real difference over the last 15 years, including to help the region weather the energy crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to the key role the WBIF will play in accelerating the socio-economic convergence of the region with the EU as part of the new €6 billion Reform and Growth Facility.”

WBIF 15 Years; July 2024

At the Operational Board meeting, the Netherlands pledged a new €500,000 contribution to the WBIF Joint Fund, thus becoming a Bilateral Donor.

The WBIF Operational Board was preceded by the WBIF Strategic Board, bringing together - in person and online – representatives from WBIF members (EU Member States, Norway, and financial partner organisations) and observers (European Parliament, Europan Council, Western Balkan partners, Transport Community and Energy Community Secretariats, and WB6 Chamber Investment Forum). The meeting was co-chaired by Valentina Superti, Director Western Balkans at DG NEAR, European Commission and Mark Bowman Vice-President Policy and Partnership, EBRD, who hosted the session at their headquarters in London.

The European Commission kicked off the Strategic Board by celebrating the WBIF’s 15-year anniversary with an outline of its key achievements in support of Western Balkans convergence towards the EU. In addition, speakers from the European Commission and WBIF members presented the economic outlook of the Western Balkans, investment priorities under the Reform and Growth Facility and EFSD+ developments.


The Strategic and Operational Boards are key bodies in WBIF governance and meet at least twice a year. 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.

Booklet with latest endorsed projects

Press release

Factsheet: Summary of approved projects