EBRD President to attend EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

EBRD President to attend EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

Bank is a leading investor in the region and a driver of policy engagement

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti will attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on Thursday 17 May 2018, at the invitation of the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

The Bank is a leading investor in the Western Balkans with average annual commitments of €1 billion and a leading force in policy engagement. In February, the Bank held its third Western Balkans Investment Summit at its London Headquarters with the six prime ministers of the region.

The event in Sofia aims to inject new energy into the EU-Western Balkans relationship. It will focus on improving the European Union (EU)’s links with the Western Balkans and within the region.

The EU-Western Balkans summit will assemble heads of state or government from EU member states and leaders from the six Western Balkans countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

The meeting will be hosted by Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose country currently holds the Presidency of the European Council. It will be chaired by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. He will represent the EU together with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

EBRD President Chakrabarti will reiterate the Bank’s commitment to the region and is expected to say: “Our commitment to supporting regional cooperation is unwavering. The EBRD has played its part by delivering several new cross-border infrastructure projects along pan-European corridors and energy interconnectors. Our contribution to such projects is worth close to €3.5 billion and over the next three to four years we expect to invest at least €2 billion more. The connectivity agenda we pursue, under the European Commission’s leadership, has allowed many important regional transport and energy projects to take off.”

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in the Western Balkans. To date, the Bank’s investments in the six countries of the region are over €10 billion in some 600 operations.

In addition, President Chakrabarti has initiated regular meetings of the Western Balkans’ prime ministers at the Bank’s Headquarters since 2014 every two years with the goal of supporting regional cooperation, raising the region’s visibility and attractiveness and fostering investment.

In Sofia, the EBRD President is also expected to meet local authorities and private sector companies as well as to sign several investments.