The Delegation of the European Union to BiH/EU Special Representative Office welcomes the adoption of the 2015-2030 BiH Framework Transport Policy (FTP) in the BiH Parliament on 30 July 2015.
Over the past years, the European Union has given increasing importance to connecting citizens and businesses across the EU in order to promote sustainable economic growth. The EU has extended this drive also to the countries of the Western Balkans, providing EUR 1 billion for developing and interconnecting transport and energy infrastructure in the next five years. Already this year, more than 100 million EUR is available as co-financing from pre-accession funds (IPA II) for all countries.
This financial assistance, coupled with an offer of further loans and investments, will be available to upgrade or construct parts of the Core Network agreed by the six Western Balkans countries. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, this Core Network includes the highway and railway along Corridor Vc and Highway 2a from Gradiska through Banja Luka – connecting with Corridor Vc south of Zenica. It also includes the Sava river ports of Samac and Brcko and the Sarajevo International Airport.
Immediate priorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2015 are construction of the cross border bridges at Svilaj and Gradiska (including border crossings and access roads).
The adoption of the BiH FTP by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly was one of two immediate prerequisites for accessing the EU funds available in 2015. Development of investment plans for the most relevant projects is the second prerequisite. Country’s investment committee should prepare these plans by 27 August 2015, when the Western Balkans Summit will take place in Vienna. We therefore urge authorities in BiH to reconvene the investment committee as a matter of priority to meet this deadline.