More funds for vital investment in EU’s neighbourhood

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Support for local development projects that target sustainable development and approximation to EU policies and standards in neighbour countries

The EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) will be formally launched tomorrow, the 6th of May, by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, representatives of EU Member States and ENP partner countries. The NIF is a key instrument of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and will mobilise additional funding for infrastructure projects mainly in the energy, transport and environment sectors in the entire area of the European Neighbourhood Policy by providing grant support for lending operations of public European financial institutions

The Commission has already made available €100 out of the €700 million it intends to allocate to the NIF for the period 2007-2013. On top of this, the Facility is open to contributions from all EU Member States so that resources from the Community budget and of the EU countries and public financial institutions will be pooled and better streamlined for the benefit of partner countries. Germany (€10 million), Italy (€1 million) and Sweden (€1 million) plan to allocate funds to the NIF in 2008; others Member States are expected to announce their contributions shortly.

Although the NIF will concentrate on the energy, transport and environment sectors, its support may also be provided for SME development and to social sector projects. It is expected that the Facility will generate up to €5-6 billion of lending.

Geographically NIF operations will focus on countries with ENP Action Plans agreed with the EU, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia and Ukraine. Moreover, on a case by case basis, the other Neighbourhood countries may also profit from NIF grant support for projects of cross border or regional nature to which the EU and its neighbouring partners attach particular interest.

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