Four EU-supported strategic investments for projects benefitting citizens in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine were signed and acknowledged in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit that took place on 15 December.
These projects are part of the flagship initiatives that have been developed for each of the Eastern Partnership countries as part of the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan (EIP) for the region. The agreements signed today together with the EIB, EBRD and the respective partner countries are a concrete step forward in implementing the EIP. We are already delivering tangible benefits on the ground for local citizens.
The EIP will support the region’s post-COVID socio-economic recovery and long-term resilience, taking into account the ‘build back better' agenda focusing on recovery, resilience and reform. The plan outlines priority investments and defines a set of flagship initiatives, which have been jointly identified with the partner countries, in view of their priorities, needs and ambitions.
The European Commission (EC) was represented by Deputy Director General Katarína, Mathernová, the European Investment Bank (EIB) was represented by Permanent Representative of the EIB to the European Institutions Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was represented by Vice-President for Policy and Partnership Mark Bowman, the Republic of Moldova was represented by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Nicu Popescu, and Ukraine was represented by Deputy Prime Minister for the European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna.
The EU, EIB and EBRD help the Republic of Moldova to improve energy efficiency
Today the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have signed letters of acknowledgment for €30 million loans each with the Republic of Moldova, in the presence of President Sandu and witnessed by Deputy Director General Katarína Mathernová (EC).
These loans, combined with an earlier contribution of 15 million by the European Commission and further in kind support from the Republic of Moldova, will contribute to Flagship 3, increasing energy efficiency and expanding the refurbishment of district heating systems in residential buildings in Chisinau and Balti. The EU is determined to support the Republic of Moldova improve its energy efficiency and security. , the EU will help the Republic of Moldova reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, reduce energy bills, and contribute to their climate goals.
The focus on energy efficiency is vital to mitigate the impact of future energy crises similar to that which Moldova is currently undergoing and will serve as a flagship for future energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives in Moldova and across the Eastern Partnership.
In addition, the EU is helping Moldova by providing immediate technical assistance and expertise in the energy sector. In the medium to long-term, the EU is committed to supporting Moldova by increasing energy efficiency and improving energy security, diversifying supply sources and increasing the importance of renewable energy sources in the framework of the High-Level Energy Dialogue launched on 28 October. Furthermore, the 60 million budget support also signed today aims to address the negative impact of the crisis on vulnerable groups and to improve the country’s preparedness and resilience to potential future crises.
The EU and EIB invest in connectivity and road safety in the Republic of Moldova
In the presence of President Sandu and witnessed by Deputy Director General Katarína Mathernová (EC), the EIB and the Republic of Moldova signed a Letter of Intent for a loan of EUR 150 million to support the development and improvements of a number of priority road sections along its main roads. The finance contract for the Loan is expected during the early months of the year 2022.
One of the key goals of the EU in the Eastern partnership is to improve connectivity and road safety. This comes as part of the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for Moldova, Flagship 4, Improving connectivity and anchoring Moldova in the Trans-European Network for Transport.
The loan will help to include Moldova in the Trans-European Transport Network. Improvements in connectivity will result in increasing economic ties and improving the development of the region.
This Letter of Intent reflects the potential of the Economic and Investment plan in the Eastern Partnership and Moldova’s intention to improve its connectivity. The finance contract for the Loan is expected during the early months of the year 2022.
The EU and EIB help Ukraine step up Energy Efficiency in public buildings
An EIB framework loan of €300 million will increase energy efficiency in about 1 000 public buildings, including hospitals, schools, cultural centres, and kindergartens. The project is expected to positively impact the comfort of the 2.5 million people.
The EU will facilitate the implementation of this loan, by signing today a Contribution Agreement for a €5.2 million grant from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Platform. This will contribute to the greater energy efficiency of public buildings and support green transition in Ukraine. Implementation is expected to start in the coming weeks.
The Ukrainian healthcare sector will directly benefit from this support. Upgrades will include new heating and cooling systems, the integration of renewable energy sources, and other modern energy efficient installations and equipment. This project will extend the operational life of key social, healthcare, administrative and cultural facilities by at least 20 years and reduce CO2 emissions by 1 250 000 tones. This support will also benefit many small and medium-sized municipalities and hromadas (local communities) that have lacked sustainable support to carry out the necessary renovations.
This EIB loan and the EU grant to support improved energy efficiency are part of one of the five flagship initiatives of the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for Ukraine.
The EU and EIB invest in a fast internet connection for rural Georgia
An EIB loan guaranteed by the EU, which will see up to €34 million invested in expanding the national broadband network to rural areas of Georgia was recently signed. This investment will bring fast and reliable internet services to 500,000 Georgians living in 1000 rural and remote settlements. It will finance the installation of 5000 km of fibre optics telecommunications network and provide open-access infrastructure for Georgian telecom operators to offer fast-internet services. This is also expected to boost local businesses.
This investment supports Flagship 4: improved digital connectivity for Georgia, one of the five flagship initiatives for Georgia under the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership
Investing in Georgia's digital transition is key to stimulating jobs and growth and bringing about prosperity. This flagship will reduce digital inequalities by developing high-speed broadband infrastructure and strengthening ‘middle-mile’ connectivity. This will contribute to Georgia’s economic development and recovery while promoting digital inclusion in line with its national broadband strategy.
On 2 July, 2021, the European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy outlined a proposal on how to take forward priorities for cooperation with our Eastern partners in the years to come. This agenda is based on the five long-term objectives, with resilience at its core, as defined for the future of the Eastern Partnership in March 2020. It will be underpinned by a €2.3 billion Economic and Investment Plan in grants, blending and guarantees, with a potential to mobilise up to €17 billion in public and private investments.
More information on all of the above investments can be found at Eastern Partnership Summit 2021 (eib.org)
For More Information
EU- Eastern Partnership relations
Recovery, Resilience and Reform: post-2020 priorities for an Eastern Partnership that delivers for all
Factsheet – EU-Georgia relations
Factsheet – EU-Moldova relations
Factsheet – EU-Ukraine relations
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova
Delegation of the European Union to Georgia
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