On 25 May 2021, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a cooperation agreement with the Canton of Sarajevo and the University of Sarajevo to support the development of a master plan for the main campus in the city centre. The €500 000 grant is being provided under the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI) in partnership with the French development bank AFD, and financed by the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI). It will enable the preparation of a master plan and feasibility study for the integration of different educational and scientific research units of the University of Sarajevo into one consolidated campus.
The strategy to be developed under the ERI technical assistance will consist of the redevelopment of the former army barracks in the centre of Sarajevo along with the construction of faculties, institutes, other facilities and the accompanying infrastructure, resulting in the creation of a high-quality campus area. It will ensure improved facilities for students and academic staff, as well as effective collaboration between faculties, academies and research institutes.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, who is responsible for operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “Along with the European Union, the EIB is pleased to be supporting this allocation of the budget for the preparation of a future project that is essential for enhancing education opportunities for people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We hope this investment will enable the University of Sarajevo, as the largest and oldest institution of tertiary learning in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to have an even greater impact on the country’s development by educating generations of students in new integrated and well-equipped education facilities. Through the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative, we support high-impact projects that encourage growth, employment and increased resilience, and this project will enhance the quality and effectiveness of educational processes and the educational experience, even during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”
EIB's priorities in the country are key transport infrastructure, both at regional and Trans-European Transport Networks level, and to support the private sector, in particular small businesses and mid-caps. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) welcomes EU’s response to the challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans, such as forced displacement and migration, economic downturns, political crises, droughts and flooding.
The EU bank has been active in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1977. To date, the EIB has invested €3.1 billion, mostly in the transport sector and small and medium enterprises.
The Economic Resilience Initiative is the EIB’s response to the European Council’s call to step up its support for the EU neighbourhood, in pursuit of economic growth and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The objective of this initiative is to rapidly mobilise additional financing in support of sustainable growth, vital infrastructure and social cohesion in Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans countries. The Economic Resilience Initiative focuses on both the public and the private sectors, in support of EIB activities during different stages of the project cycle. The EIB is contributing to the ERI Technical Assistance window with an envelope amounting to €90 million from its own budget resources.
Source: European Investment Bank Newsroom