European Commission announces additional €680 million investment package for the Western Balkans under the Economic and Investment Plan

On 13 December 2023,

the European Commission announced a new €680 million investment package to support five flagship investments in rail transport and renewable energy in the Western Balkans. This is the sixth financial package under the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, which is expected to mobilise €16.6 billion in investments. Projects have been prepared in close cooperation with the Western Balkans partners and international financial institutions.

European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “In an increasingly fragmented world, we need an even stronger and united community of values. Enlargement is key to achieve this. While we continue to work together on accession, we need to take decisive actions to bring the Western Balkans closer to our economy. With the projects worth 680 million just approved, we are accelerating our shared journey towards a green and better-connected future by upgrading transport links and harnessing renewable energy. Together, we are laying the foundations for sustainable growth and closer integration, demonstrating once again our strong commitment to the region’s prosperity and its path towards EU membership”.

The €680 million investment package, includes €253.2 million in EU grants from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), favourable loans from international financing institutions, and contributions from the Western Balkans, has been endorsed on 8 December by the Operational Board of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

The five new projects approved cover the following two priority sectors:

-Sustainable transport: reconstruction of Corridor VIII railway line in Albania and rehabilitation of Bar – Vrbnica railway line in Montenegro. These projects will contribute to upgrade the Western Balkans’ railway transport to TEN-T standards and ensure integration with the EU railway network.

-Clean energy: construction of two wind farms in Bosnia and Herzegovina and deployment of a solar photovoltaic power plant in Albania. These projects support the transition to low-carbon economies, and foster sustainable development in the region.


As part of Global Gateway, the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans aims to spur long-term recovery, accelerate a green and digital transition, as well as foster regional cooperation and convergence with the EU. Adopted by the European Commission in October 2020, the Plan will mobilise up to €30 billion in investments, including €9 billion in EU grants. Following this new investment package, the EU is expected to mobilise €16.6 billion in investments, including €4.5 billion in EU grants. This includes funding for 59 EIP flagship investments supported through the WBIF.

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) is a joint financial platform of the European Commission, financial organisations, EU Member States, and Norway aimed at enhancing cooperation in public and private sector investments for the region’s socio-economic development and contributing to the European integration of the Western Balkans. The WBIF is the main financial vehicle for implementing the EU’s ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

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Source: European Union

Photo credits: European Union

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