• EUR 30m EIB loan to improve clean-, waste- and storm-water infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina; a EUR 1.2m grant for technical assistance on this project comes from the Economic Resilience initiative (ERI)
  • EIB invests EUR 19m from ERI to increase efficiency of flood protection in the Sava River basin
  • EUR 19m grant from the European Union supports construction of a twin-tunnel on the Zenica North section of the Pan-European Corridor Vc

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union will support three new projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina by providing EUR 68m to improve the water supply, wastewater and storm-water management infrastructure, enhance flood protection in the Sava river basin, and support construction of a twin-tunnel on the Zenica North section of the Pan-European Corridor Vc.

Safe drinking water, modern wastewater and sanitation infrastructure

With a EUR 30m loan for construction and improvements to the water supply, wastewater and storm-water networks, the EIB will open up access to drinking water for up to 147 000 citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina and improve sanitation services to some 70 000 people.

To complement the loan, the EU bank will also provide EUR 1.2m worth of technical assistance to design projects, prepare tender documentation and manage procurement processes. Funding for technical assistance comes from the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI), an EIB initiative to support resilient and inclusive growth in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans.

Protecting Bosnia and Herzegovina from floods

The European Investment Bank will also invest EUR 19m to increase flood protection along the Sava River and its basin in Republika Srpska by constructing dykes and channels and rehabilitating riverbeds. The EIB-funded flood protection improvements will help avoid future loss of life and damage to property from recurring floods, and create a safer environment in this part of the country. This investment is also funded from the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative.

Head of Division for EIB Lending Operations in Croatia, Slovenia and Western Balkans Matteo Rivellini said: “EIB investments will continue to support modern highways, flood protection and the clean water supply for Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, more than EUR 516 million of EIB loans to support the realization of the 318 km Pan-European Corridor Vc in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been signed. The EU, on its side, has provided more than EUR 200 million in grants through numerous projects. Those projects are the result of a long and productive collaboration with all our counterparts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would like to take the opportunity of this signature’s event today to congratulate all the persons involved in the preparation of those projects. We are looking forward for a continuous fruitful collaboration.”

Safer roads for efficient pan-European connectivity

The European Union will complement a €50 million from the European Investment Bank, signed in 2018, with a grant of up to €19 million for development of the Zenica North section of the pan-European Corridor Vc. The section contains a twin-tunnel, due to be completed by the end of 2022. The project will increase road safety and contribute towards faster economic and social development in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Corridor Vc will provide a modern road connection between Budapest and the Croatian seaport of Ploče and integrate Bosnia and Herzegovina into this modern, regional transport network.”

Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador Johann Sattler underlined the EU commitment to helping the country in the construction of the Corridor Vc: “Recognising the benefits for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Union secured more than EUR 200m euro in grants through the Western Balkans Investment Framework – WBIF to support the country in this ambitious and expensive project. This EU funding will speed up the construction of 13 major connectivity projects, including the works on the Gradiška and Svilaj bridges.”

Minister of Finance of Bosnia and Herzegovina Vjekoslav Bevanda and Head of Division for EIB Lending Operations in Croatia, Slovenia and Western Balkans Matteo Rivellini signed the agreements today in Sarajevo, in presence of the Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador Johann Sattler.

EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco said: “The EIB is particularly proud of our continuing support and our commitment to the economic and social development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans. The three investments we signed today, worth EUR 68m in total, blend funds from different sources – the EIB, the EU and the EIB’s ERI – to improve vital road and water management infrastructure across the country. It will enable faster movement of people, goods and services in an environment safer from natural disasters and with modern infrastructure for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Vjekoslav Bevanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Minister of Finance, said: “I am grateful to the representatives of the European Investment Bank and the European Union for the effort put into signing these agreements. The projects set to be financed through funds granted to Bosnia and Herzegovina under the agreements are of great importance for the further development of the country.”

To date, the EIB has invested EUR 191.1m in water and sewerage projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina including water and sanitation infrastructure development and emergency flood management and EUR 1.2bn in transport projects. Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1977, the EU bank has invested EUR 2.5bn in 68 projects throughout the country.

Note to editors:

About the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI):

The Economic Resilience Initiative is a part of the European Union’s action to address the causes of migration and offers financing to help countries withstand economic and social hardships. The Initiative aims to rapidly mobilise additional financing in support of growth, vital infrastructure and social cohesion. The ERI creates jobs by investing in infrastructure and the private sector, improves projects and makes them more bankable. Enhancing the prospects for more resilient and inclusive growth – and creating sustainable employment opportunities, particularly for young people and women – is crucial to improving living standards.

The ERI provides a comprehensive package of support, offering a broad range of products to meet the specific needs of private and public sector clients with the private sector at the core of the ERI.

The EIB’s ERI was requested by the 28 EU member states in 2016 as a part of the EU response to the challenges posed by forced displacement and migration and as a follow up to the London Syria Conference in 2016. The ERI focuses on the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo[1], Montenegro and Serbia) and Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia).  

ERI results:

The EIB estimates the 56 ongoing projects in 12 countries will help sustain some 197 000 jobs in 9 600 smaller businesses, support 6 600 new students in higher education, improve access to safe water and improved sanitation for 10.8 million people, and provide energy to 311 000 households. Around 1.8 million people are expected to benefit from better infrastructure and services in urban areas.

Recent projects approved include loans boosting small businesses in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the West Bank, development of the infrastructure for industrial zones in Lebanon, investments in water in Jordan, and transport links in Kosovo1.

More information on the Economic Resilience Initiative

[1] This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.