EC approves huge stimulus package for West Balkan renewable energy, competitiveness, digitalReading Time: < 1 minutes
The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday endorsed a package of 24 guarantee programmes worth EUR 2.4bn to support investments in the EU’s neighbourhood and enlargement countries in the West Balkans.
The new guarantees approved by the EC’s Operational Board of the European Fund are classified under the EU’s Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+).
“EFSD+ underway today,” Deputy Director General at DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Katarina Mathernova tweeted after the package was voted through on Wednesday. “Great proposals from our partner financial institutions will bring much needed private investment to near countries!” she added.
EC Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said: “the 24 new guarantee programmes approved by the EFSD+ Board today will be key to delivering on our ambitious economic and investment plans.
“With the assistance of these EUR 2.4bn new guarantees, we will be able to make about EUR 17bn in investments in priority sectors, including renewable energy, digital connectivity, and private sector competitiveness, under the Economic and Investment Plans.
“These investments will be critical to contribute to the economic growth, job creation, and improving lives of the citizens in our partner countries,” Varhelyi added.
The three new guarantees, like the one to support SMEs approved in December, fall under the Economic and Investment Plans as part of Global Gateway in the Western Balkans and South and Eastern Neighbourhood strategy.