On the occasion of the first Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) meeting under the Macedonian CEI Presidency 2015 in Skopje on 3 February, six Technical Assistance projects were approved. They will be financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, fully contributed by Italy, with a total value of 1.045.000 EUR.

Three Technical Assistance projects will be covering the sectors of transport and energy in Macedonia, two will be dealing with the water reform sector in Montenegro and one will have a regional impact in the field of procurement management training.

The major portion of the approved resources, 800,000 EUR, will support two CEI Technical Assistance projects aimed at developing the transport sector in Macedonia. The EBRD investments linked to these two projects amount to 145 million EUR in the railway infrastructure and 160 million EUR for the national roads. As outlined in the priorities of the Macedonian CEI Presidency 2015, infrastructure development is one of the country’s key priorities, crucial for promoting Macedonia’s overall growth. In this framework, the Italy-sponsored CEI Fund at the EBRD has provided a significant amount of resources for technical assistance related to the implementation of EBRD investments since 2012.

The 36-month long Consultancy Services for Project Implementation of the Phase II of Macedonia Rail Corridor VIII will be co-financed with 350,000 EUR, while the Project Implementation Assistance for the Macedonian National Roads Programme - running for 60 months - will be funded with 450,000 EUR. In addition, support for the preparation of the Agreement related to the Macedonia Renewable Energy Power Purchase will be provided with 65,000 EUR.

With tourism as the main growth sector in Montenegro, the Government has given highest priority to securing safe and uninterrupted water supply for the coastal region, an essential element for the development of quality tourism offer. An assistance with the Reform in the Water Sector in Coastal Area will be funded with 70,000 EUR, while a detailed Priority Investment Program Identification and Pre-feasibility Study of Local Water Supply Systems Expansion in the Coastal Municipalities will be assisted with 35,000 EUR. In this case, the expected EBRD investments amount to 20 million EUR, destined to finance the upgrading of water infrastructure.

Finally, the Third Master in Procurement Management (MPM) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy) will be co-funded with 75,000 EUR. The CEI has already successfully sponsored the first two editions of the Master’s Programme, by offering full sponsorship to senior public procurement managers and officials selected from non-EU CEI Member States. The main objective of the Programme is to raise the academic level and training of public procurement officials from different backgrounds in order to enable them to have the capacity to design and administer procurement solutions to resolve complex strategic, managerial and organisational problems.

The financial commitment provided by Italy for the above-mentioned projects, proves the successful cooperation established with the EBRD in supporting the economic and social transformation process of non-EU CEI countries, thus facilitating their European path through regional cooperation.
  Italy, through the CEI Fund at the EBRD, promotes Technical Cooperation (TC) projects supporting EBRD activities in a number of areas, including agriculture, energy, enterprise development, municipal development, transport, and general development. Technical cooperation is offered in the form of grant-type assistance in support of specific components of a project. 
Between 1993 and 2014 the CEI Fund committed more than 23 million EUR for 129 technical cooperation assignments. Specifically, TC operations include support for feasibility and pre-feasibility studies, sector and environmental engineering, management training, capacity building and pre-loan audits.

For more information: dovier@cei.int