With a total contribution of EUR 470,000, the CEI Fund at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has enabled the implementation of four Technical Cooperation Projects in the Western Balkans in the areas of energy, transport and capacity building. Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic has cemented the leading role of the Bank as an international institution providing financial support to help the recovery of struggling economies in different sectors across a number of countries in different regions.

Through its Green Economy Transition (GET) initiative, the Bank promotes sustainable resource efficiency and innovation in three vital areas for countries where the EBRD invests: energy, water, and materials. The rapid growth in demand for resources, volatile prices, and growing environmental concerns  - including those about the impacts of climate change - has made resource efficiency a priority for all countries. Moreover, the EBRD has been ramping up its response to the economic and financial crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and has developed a Covid Resilience Framework to help both existing and new clients.

Market readiness for a low-carbon hydrogen economy in the Western Balkans is a twelve-month regional project allocating EUR 150,000  for technical, economic and regulatory viability of hydrogen supply chains. The ultimate goal is to secure the sustainable development of hydrogen as a decarbonised fuel for climate change mitigation, whilst ensuring cost-effectiveness and identifying investment potential.

The three-month project Impact on the use of public transport due to Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Balkans provides EUR 50,000 to undertake a study in a number of major cities in the Western Balkans to better understand health and safety risks, including road and traffic safety and the impacts which Covid-19 has on the health and safety of vulnerable road users in an urban context.

EUR 150,000 were made available to implement Corridor Vc - Tunnel Prenj: Corporate Governance Action Plan, an 18-month project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In particular, the assignment assists Motorways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBH Motorways) with the implementation of the Corporate Governance Action Plan (CGAP) which the EBRD is currently developing. The Bank is conducting a detailed review of the corporate governance structure and practices of the FBH Motorways, comparing them to relevant international benchmarks and peers in order to highlight the corporate governance gaps and develop an action plan to remedy them.

Covid-19 Crisis Response: Environmental & Social Contractor Management, Western Balkans is a 12-month project designed to develop and deliver an online training programme to selected Transport as well as Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure Project implementation agencies (ministries, directorates and project implementation units etc.) in Serbia and in Montenegro.

For more info: Programme Manager Elisabetta Dovier (dovier@cei.int)