EC will present investment package for WB at Zagreb Summit

NEWS 27.04.2020 18:45
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Source: REUTERS/Yves Herman

The European Commission (EC) will present an investment package for the Western Balkans during the joint Summit in Zagreb on May 6, despite earlier reports that it might not happen, N1 reported on Monday

EC spokesperson Ana Pisonero told N1 that the Commission did not give up that plan.

„The commission works on securing a significant contribution to the video conference of the European Union leaders and their Western Balkans’ partners. It’s difficult to predict which way the discussion will take. We are focused on fighting coronavirus, but at the same time, we work on the economic investment plan,“ she told N1.

She added that the EC „put a significant package on the table. We speak about 410 million Euro, plus an additional 290 million which should secure the liquidity through the cooperation with the international financial institution.“

The details of the plan will be published in autumn.

The EU-WB Summit in Zagreb on May 6 will be held via conference link and will last one instead of previously planned two days due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The main topics are expected to be the new EU enlargement methodology and the economic package for the Western Balkans.

Diplomatic sources told Radio Free Europe (RFE) that a declaration about the investment package for the region would be brought at the end of the Summit. The Western Balkans could count on aid from two sources – EC and European Investment Bank (EIB). The exact amount isn’t known, but RFE says billions of Euro are mentioned.

The declaration draft which RFE had access to said the investments would be crucial to incent a long-time recovery of the whole region and support the reforms in the regional countries.

„The Western Balkans should become a functional market economy capable of joining the EU common market, creating new jobs, improving the business and investment climate and promoting the rule of law,“ the declaration said, according to RFE.