Information News

EC interested in supporting infrastructural projects

07. May 2015. |

According to the European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Han, the EU is interested in providing financial assistance for the construction of Niš-Brestovac railway on Corridor 10, the construction of the intermodal terminal in Belgrade and other mid-term investment projects such as the gas pipe-line between Bulgaria and Serbia.

At the National Investment Committee meeting in Belgrade, Han said that the European Commission had already explored the ways in which to provide the EU funding for certain projects but that it wanted to make sure that the expropriation issues were either resolved or in an advanced stage before committing to providing assistance for priority investment projects.

“We want to support mature projects. Naturally, we want to support the projects that have a great strategic value both for the country and for the region”, said Han.

He stated that, as far as the EU was concerned, Serbia would get maximum support to realise its goals concerning infrastructure development, adding that all financial instruments at the Commission’s disposal would be mobilised to provide timely implementation of those investment projects that are part of the expansion of the central transport network.

Other priority sectors such as energy, environment and business infrastructure will also be financed under the single source of financing, said Han.

Infrastructure projects in the fields of transport, energy and information technologies are necessary for the country’s economy to become competitive and developed, said Han, noting that the National Investment Committee was essential in determining priority investment projects and that the countries in the region should follow Serbia’s example and establish a body that would function in a similar way.

“The National Investment Committee will have to build a strong national consensus. The priorities of the single source of financing will have to enjoy concrete support from the responsible ministries”, pointed out the Commissioner.

Stating that a well developed and interconnected transport and energy infrastructure was a driving force of the economic development, job creation and attracting new investment, Han underlined that it required good prioritisation.

According to him, public funds are lacking and we all want to get the maximum value out of every euro spent.

In this view, and in order to realise important investment projects and bring real benefits as soon as possible, Han believes that it is imperative to set the priorities right and explore possibilities for funding, which, according to him, involves private capital as well.

“Your success is Europe’s success. You are part of Europe and, I hope, you’ll soon be part of the EU too”, said Han.

The Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović said that timely planning and preparation were key to the realisation of the most important infrastructural projects and that the establishment of the National Investment Committee was one in the series of steps that the government had made in that direction.

Joksimović added that the NIC was working to put into practice the agreements made last year in Berlin, where it was said that all Western Balkan countries should work together on the development of infrastructure projects, especially concerning transport and energy networks.

She pointed out that the process of bringing the entire Western Balkans closer to the EU membership was underway.

“The process is realised through numerous meetings that were held in Belgrade, Priština and Brussels. A good idea did not remain just an idea but specific steps are being made, with the EU support”, said Joksimović.

She also underlined that it was necessary to reach an agreement with regard to the planning and realisation of strategically important infrastructural projects for Serbia, as well as an agreement concerning the development of regional infrastructure and European transport network.

It is important that the entire government and line ministries reach a consensus on what the key projects are, and that they get political support, she explained.

“This government is lucky to have a Prime Minister who is personally interested in investment projects and in following their realisation”, said Joksimović.

The National Investment Committee is tasked with guiding and preparing the implementation of infrastructure investment projects, investment project planning and coordination of the sources of financing.

The National Investment Committee is comprised of the ministers responsible for mining and energy, construction, transport and infrastructure, agriculture, economy and public administration, and co-chaired by the ministries responsible for European integration and finance.