New EU-grants for the major infrastructure investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EU grant agreements to the value of €17.1 million were signed 22 May 2023 at the Council of Ministers premises in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The new funds will target the ongoing construction of the country’s major transport road corridor and improving the water supply system in City of Visoko and surrounding settlements.
The majority of funds available (€16 million) will be used to finance the construction of the new section on the road Corridor Vc – the major infrastructure project that connects Bosnia and Herzegovina to Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea. The section concerned runs from the Putnikovo Brdo tunnel to the Medakovo interchange.
The construction of Corridor Vc is a strategic priority for BiH and is expected to contribute to faster economic and social development. The longest section of Corridor Vc is in BiH, totalling 325 kilometres and, with 148 bridges and 46 tunnels, is currently the largest construction project in the country.
The European Union has so far allocated around €570 million in grants for the construction of Corridor Vc, around 40% of the total.
Another grant agreement ensures €1.1 million in EU grants for the expansion of water supply to a suburban area of City of Visoko and building a main reservoir in Dubrava as phase III of the Visoko Water Supply Project. This phase envisages a construction of approx. 40 km of pipelines and will enable 5,000 new consumers/1,000 household connections to the safe drinking water supply system and, at the same time, improve their standard of living.
Both projects have been identified as flagship investments in the European Union's Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans 2021-2027: Road Corridor Vc – Flagship 2 - Connecting North to South and Visoko Water Supply Project - Flagship 7 - Waste and waste water management.
The grant agreements were signed by Manuela Naessl, Head of the EBRD for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Zoran Tegeltija, Minister of Finance and Treasury of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the presence of the Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Merima Karabegović, Autoceste FBiH Advisor, Mirza Ganić, Visoko Mayor and Almir Hadžialić, Visoko Public Waste Management Company Director.
Ambassador Sattler said: “The EU will continue to be a loyal friend and partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina, providing support for projects which have a concrete beneficial impact for people in this country. I am glad that following the signature of today’s grant agreements, further sections of the important Corridor Vc motorway can be built, and also that the water supply around Visoko will be renovated to ensure access to safe drinking water.”
In addition to grants provided by the EU, these projects will also receive favourable loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Manuela Naessl, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD): “Together with our European partners, we are determined to continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in completing the construction of Corridor Vc. The new motorway is already helping improve the quality of transport and doing business in the country, and we look forward to future progress in construction.”
Zoran Tegeltija, Minister of Finance and Treasury of Bosnia and Herzegovina: “I wish to emphasise the importance of investments from the European Union to such projects. These grants support those implementing and help them finance activities such as supervision and consulting services, but also directly fund construction work. I hope for continued good cooperation in the future, and I wish the users of these funds complete the work on time.”
The EU grants were provided through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), which aims to improve regional connectivity by building new transport links and renovating outdated transport and utility infrastructure.
More information on the Western Balkans Investment Framework in BiH is available at https://wbif.eu/beneficiaries/bosnia-and-herzegovina