Improving connectivity within the Western Balkans, as well as between the Western Balkans and the European Union, constitutes a key factor for growth and jobs and will bring clear benefits for the region’s economies and citizens.
The Western Balkans have made the connectivity agenda one of their highest priorities, with a special emphasis on the preparation and financing of concrete regional infrastructure investment projects and on the implementation of technical standards and reform measures (e.g.: aligning/simplifying border crossing procedures, railway reforms, information systems, road safety and maintenance schemes, unbundling and third-party access).
In 2015, the European Commission set aside up to €1 billion in grants until 2020, from the EU Pre-Accession Instrument, to support the connectivity agenda. In November 2020 at the summit in Sofia, the Western Balkan leaders welcomed the 2020 connectivity package with six projects in the areas of sustainable transport and clean energy. This package completes the delivery of the EU's 2015 pledge, while at the same time constitutes the first step towards the implementation of the flagship projects of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.
Projects supported: 45 projects
EU Grants: €1 billion
Investment leveraged: €3.7 billion