The Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has recommended a compliance review of the Mostar South – Tunnel Kvanj section of the Corridor Vc motorway project in Bosnia and Herzegovina following a request by local residents.
The recommended compliance review is an independent fact-finding investigation performed by IPAM to determine if the Bank has complied with its environmental and social policies in relation to the project. Work on the project will continue during the review.
Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, welcomed the decision: “We have always engaged with civil society in preparing and delivering this key infrastructure project for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The recommendation provides the opportunity for an independent investigation to revisit the application of best-practice environmental and social standards, to which we remain fully committed, in particular as we continue discussions on financing further sections of this important infrastructure project. EBRD management will fully support the review.”
The complaint received by IPAM in 2020 questioned whether the Mostar South – Tunnel Kvanj section of the project complied with the EBRD Environmental and Social Policy, claiming that the current layout of the motorway was having adverse environmental, economic and cultural impacts on local residents.
EBRD management is of the opinion that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment prepared by motorway company JP Autoceste FBiH has been structured in line with Bank requirements and addresses relevant impacts.
The construction of Corridor Vc is a priority infrastructure project for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as for the European Union (EU), as part of the Economic Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. The motorway will improve domestic connections significantly and link the country with regional neighbours and wider Europe.
The EBRD and the European Investment Bank are supporting the project’s construction with loans, while the EU, through the Western Balkans Investment Framework, is providing investment grants and assistance for planning, design preparation and implementation.
The IPAM receives and reviews concerns raised by project-affected people and civil-society organisations about Bank-financed projects. It reports directly to the EBRD Board of Directors and is independent of EBRD management.