European Western Balkans
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Global prosperity requires combined efforts

With a new global crisis unfolding as COVID-19 continues to spread, we have come to understand that challenges need to be tackled comprehensively. All our economies are interconnected and the only way forward is to strengthen all of our communities worldwide.

The path to global prosperity is partnership. This ethos lies at the core of our new branch — EIB Global — created to extend our help to countries and regions outside the European Union. The focus will be on alleviating the negative effects of the pandemic, building climate-resilient infrastructure and facilitating the transition towards sustainable, digital and inclusive ways of living and doing business.

Fostering climate finance and expertise

We aim to maximise the impact of our work on the most pressing issues facing the world today by acting as an incubator for climate financing and sustainable projects. EIB Global brings all of the European Investment Bank’s resources to bear on activities beyond the European Union thanks to a structure designed to help streamline cooperation within Team Europe (a partnership bringing together the European Commission, EU Member States, the EIB and other institutional financiers). We are also a key ally of the European Commission’s new Global Gateway initiative, aiming to invest hundreds of billions of euros in smart, clean and secure infrastructure projects around the world.

In cooperation with our partners — other development finance institutions, civil society organisations and beneficiaries from the Western Balkans — we are working towards the same goal of increasing the impact of our activities and projects. Our aim is to bring European technological advances and financial expertise to markets across the globe.

Over the past ten years, the EIB has invested more than €70 billion outside the European Union, of which close to €9.5 billion in the Western Balkans. However, these sums must be converted into trillions if we are to halt climate change.

The region also needs substantial volume in extra investment each year to cut pollution and make local societies sustainable. By connecting more investors, EIB Global helps us get more finance to the right places.

Scaling up financial and technical support

In 2021, we signed deals worth a record €95 billion across all sectors. More than half of the EIB’s total lending supported climate action and sustainability. Now, with EIB Global, we are adding more people to our offices all over the world to scale up our financial and technical support, inspiring innovation and change in specific areas such as digital technology, gender equality and healthcare.

The Western Balkans region is also set to benefit from EIB Global’s management structure. It will allow us to engage more experts on the ground, identify needs more clearly and accelerate project preparation and implementation in key areas: digitalisation, energy and vital infrastructure that responds to climate change and other challenges.

Closer to people and companies

Our flagship projects include connected schools in Serbia, with faster broadband internet connections and better digital equipment for teachers and pupils in over 1 500 schools. Another example is the introduction of more sustainable transport thanks to improvements in railway, waterway or urban transport networks across the Western Balkans.

The EIB is already engaged in new partnerships that will facilitate the rollout of the Green Agenda in the region and supply of clean water for the citizens. The goal is to help local companies, municipalities or other public institutions integrate environmental sustainability into their core operations and develop new projects. Along with this, the EIB is providing financing for the credit line dedicated to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that aim to introduce climate and energy efficient practices.

Creating inclusive job opportunities and support to women entrepreneurship is also the EIB priority in the region. For the first time ever, the bank provided innovative impact loan for the region in 2020 that includes a performance-based reward mechanism for companies that meet specific targets to foster leadership, employment and professional development opportunities for women, young people and vulnerable groups.

We are welcoming any new opportunity that EIB Global may bring by fostering climate action, digitalisation, innovation and modern infrastructure, all of which improve standards of living. The EIB is deploying innovative development finance to get these kinds of project off the ground, delivering multiple benefits to people across the region.

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