Find out the latest on EU-related activities and events in the Western Balkans
Only a month after the first grant was signed, EIB Global signed a second EU grant for €174.6 million for the subsection Paraćin – Trupale – Međurovo rail route, part of an EU financial package totalling €2.2 billion for the Belgrade – Niš section of the Railway Corridor X. The first grant under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (€82.8 million) was signed in February 2023. The funds will enable the upgrade and modernisation of 230 km of railway. This will enable travel speeds of up to 200 km/h between Belgrade and Niš, increase trade flows and stimulate economic growth along the route.
The signing ceremony was attended by Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for European Integration Tanja Miščević, Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesić, EU Ambassador to Serbia Emanuele Giaufret and representatives of Serbian Railways. This is a flagship project of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, and a Team Europe Initiative. It also benefits from EU technical assistance in preparing documentation that satisfies EU economic, environmental and social safeguards and procurement rules.
The grant signed is part of an EU financial package of €2.2 billion to modernise the Belgrade – Niš railway, encompassing up to €600 million in EU grants. It is a clear demonstration of the rapid progress made by Team Europe in funding this flagship railway project. The package also includes a €1.1 billion EIB loan and a €550 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
In the last 10 years, the EIB has supported the rail sector with more than €39 billion globally, helping to construct or upgrade almost 2 000 km of tracks and 304 stations. As a lead financier of strategic railway routes in the Western Balkans, the EIB has invested over €1.2 billion in the region’s rail sector, supporting regional cooperation and connectivity.
Photo credits: EIB
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