The agreement on the European Union grant of €19 million was signed today to finance the construction of a twin-tunnel on the Zenica North section of the Corridor Vc motorway, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Investment Bank. This marks another important step in the EU assistance to BiH within the Connectivity Agenda.
Head of the European Union Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative in BiH Ambassador Johann Sattler underlined the EU’s commitment to assist BiH in the construction of Corridor Vc: “Recognising the benefits for BiH’s citizens, the European Union has secured more than €200 million in grants through the Western Balkans Investment Framework – WBIF to support BiH in this ambitious and expensive project. This EU funding will speed up construction of thirteen major connectivity projects in BiH, including works on the Gradiška and Svilaj bridges,” said the Ambassador.
The European Union complemented a 50 million euro loan from the European Investment Bank with a grant of 19 million euros for the continuation of works on Corridor Vc in the Zenica North section, due to be completed by the end of 2022. The project will increase road safety and contribute towards faster economic and social development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The motorway on Corridor Vc will provide a state-of-the-art connection and integrate Bosnia and Herzegovina into the regional transport network.
Head of EIB Lending Operations in Croatia, Slovenia and Western Balkans Matteo Rivellini, congratulated everyone involved in the preparation of the projects, noting that the EIB is looking forward to the continuation of fruitful collaboration: “To date, more than €516 million of EIB loans to support the realisation of the Pan-European Corridor Vc in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been signed. The EU, on its side, has provided more than €200 million in grants across numerous projects. Those projects are the result of a long and productive collaboration with all of our counterparts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Connectivity is at the core of the strategy of this country, the European Union and the EIB for this region.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Minister of Finance Vjekoslav Bevanda noted the relevance of the signing of today’s contracts to the further development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I am happy to sign today three very important agreements for Bosnia and Herzegovina that will benefit all the citizens of this country. We are thankful to the European Union for ensuring grants to continue the construction of Corridor Vc. The new section of Zenica tunnel will decrease travel times and pollution in the area, while the two credit agreements will improve living conditions in a region with over 200,000 citizens,” observed Bevanda.
In addition to the EU grant for the continuation of works on Corridor Vc, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed agreements for additional two new projects with the European Investment Bank worth 49 million euro to improve water supply and water management and enhance flood protection in the Sava River basin.