A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (13 December) on the nearly 600,000 euro increase in support for the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF):
The WBIF has proven to be an efficient instrument for EU Pre accession Assistance for the countries of the Western Balkans that generates great leverage. Therefore, the Federal Foreign Office has decided to top up its 2017 WBIF contribution by nearly 600,000 euros, to a total of 1.6 million euros. With this strong support for the process of drawing the six Western Balkan countries closer to the European Union, the German Government is underscoring its interest in greater economic momentum in the countries of the Western Balkans.
By stepping up the promotion of EU values, we are also promoting democracy, the rule of law and economic development in these countries in our immediate neighbourhood. It is in our interest for important reforms to be successfully implemented in the Western Balkans.
In addition to development of the private sector, projects in the environment, energy and transport sectors, as well as projects that benefit society at large, are being supported. At the WBIF Steering Committee meeting in Frankfurt am Main on 13 December 2017, Digital Infrastructure was added to the WBIF’s sectors of activity.
The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) was officially established, following Council approval, in December 2009 as a joint initiative of the European Commission, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. Other partners are the World Bank and KfW. To date, Germany has contributed more than 11 million euros. Besides Germany, the largest donors include Norway, Sweden and Austria.