19 Jan '15

EU Horizontal support to Coordination with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the Western Balkans and Turkey

The IFI Coordination Office (IFI CO) was established under the EC-financed project Support to IFI Coordination in the Western Balkans and Turkey. It focuses on coordination, cooperation and communication between IFIs, EC, bilateral donors and beneficiary countries across four key sectors – energy, environment, transport and socio-economic issues, contributing to the overall socio-economic development of the beneficiary countries. This is complemented by facilitating increased co-ordination with relevant regional programmes and enhancing the involvement of the beneficiaries in the IFIs / donor co-ordination process, as well as generating improved public awareness of the support provided by the EC, IFIs and donors to the beneficiaries.

The project is focused around four main results:

  1. Improved coordination of investment support and financing initiatives. As part of this component the project is involved in preparation of database on EC/IFI Support Initiatives and Programmes covering Energy, Transport, Environment and Socio-Economic issues;
  2. Improved coordination of information exchange, advice, and policy actions focusing on horizontal and sectoral issues relating to the effectiveness of the overall assistance flows to the region. Activities under this component have included finalisation of a report on the Energy Efficiency Support Mechanisms available and preparation of a Terms of Reference for a major study to identify financing options for implementation of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs);
  3. Increased involvement of the Beneficiaries in the IFI and donor co-ordination process. This component includes the organisation of thematic policy and information events with beneficiaries from the various countries; and
  4. Improved public awareness of the support provided by the EC, the IFIs and other donors to the Beneficiaries; including increasing the awareness among beneficiaries, IFIs and bilateral donors regarding the Energy Efficiency Support Mechanisms currently available in the Western Balkans.

Support to the implementation of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) is a major focus of the work of the IFI CO. The WBIF aims to streamline cooperation and increase financing capacity for investments that contribute to socio-economic development and the accession process in the Western Balkans. It pools resources from the EC, the partner IFIs, the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank (EIB), in association with KfW and the World Bank, as well as from bilateral donors. The WBIF focuses on key sectors of the Western Balkan economies including energy, environment, transport, social issues and private sector development. Projects must be nominated or endorsed by the National IPA Coordinator of the respective country and projects with regional impact take precedence when deciding among applications.