The European Union confirmed its readiness to continue providing financial support to infrastructure projects the Western Balkan countries assessed as priority ones and ready for implementation, thus boosting the amount of investment and infrastructure connectivity of the region, which affects the intensification of economic growth and development, as well as the acceleration of the Western Balkan integration process.
This was the main conclusion of the 13th meeting of the Western Balkan Investment Framework's Steering Committee which was held earlier today in Paris. At the meeting, Montenegro received additional EUR 4.65 million for infrastructure projects in addition to EUR 45 million having been allocated at the Vienna Summit, and granted final approval at today's meeting.
Chief Negotiator for Montenegro’s Accession to EU Aleksandar Andrija Pejović took part in the meeting, sponsored by the European Commission and Development Bank of the Council of Europe.
On this occasion, Montenegro was granted EUR 4.65 million for preparing decuments for priority infrastructure projects, of which EUR 1.5 million for preparing a feasibility study for the construction of a section of future Adriatic-Ionian highway in Montenegro, EUR 3 million for development of major projects for the reconstruction of 86 concrete bridges on the Bar-Vrbnica railway line, and EUR 150,000 for increase of the budget for the development of a study evaluating the impact of the environmental master plan for the gasification of Montenegro.
The Steering Board finally approved infrastructure projects co-financed by the EU, which were previously presented at the Vienna Summit within the framework of the Berlin Process. As part of the package, Montenegro was granted EUR 45 million for the implementation of two infrastructure projects. Within the first project the EU will co-finance a half of the total 40-million worth project of replacing signaling system in the Podgorica railway station and reconstruction of concrete bridges on the Bar-Vrbnica railway line. Additional EUR 25 million, the EU allocated for co-financing 20% of the total 127-million worth construction works on the Montenegrin part of the 400kV power grid that connects Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
In addition, Montenegro, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, Montenegro uses approved a million euros worth regional project, which will improve the security of electricity supply in the region.
Ambassador Pejovic reiterated the unequivocal commitment of Montenegro to the entire process of defining priority infrastructure projects, hopeful that the implementation of approved projects will be particularly useful in the context of improving infrastructural connectivity of Montenegro with its neighbors. In this regard, he stressed that the effective work of the National Investment Commission significantly improves long-term and sustainable strategic planning of investment in infrastructure.
"The financial support of the European Union and international financial institutions are the main prerequisites for the implementation of infrastructure projects and therefore for faster and more complete integration of Montenegro and other countries of the region into the EU," Ambassador Pejovic underlined in his address.