Corridor Vc is both one of the most important transport and most ambitious investment programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which seeks to connect the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, enabling faster and safer travel, whilst improving economic development. The European Union is the largest donor to this important development programme, providing financial and professional assistance to the improvement and acceleration of works.
More than 325 kilometres of Corridor Vc pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina, which upon completion of the works will provide a direct connection between the port of Ploce in Croatia and Budapest, significantly improving the connection of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the rest of Europe. Recognising the importance of this demanding undertaking, the European Union is assisting in the implementation of 11 projects along Corridor Vc, the construction of a bridge in Gradiška and the reconstruction of the Port of Brčko.
Despite the economic and social difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, works have continued at almost all locations along Corridor Vc. In addition to safety and protection measures for workers, we strive to ensure fast and successful continuation of work, preserve jobs and ensure a regular income for all employees. Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and EU Special Representative in BiH, visited the works on the construction of the Tarčin Tunnel Ivan section and emphasised the importance of the construction of Corridor Vc to the European Union. “This section is part of Corridor Vc, part of the trans-European network, which means that we will connect Bosnia and Herzegovina with Central Europe and provide better and faster connections for citizens. We have invested more than 4 billion euros in this project and more than 200 million euros in grants for better connectivity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I will continue to advocate for the improvement and acceleration of work, because I believe we can work faster than in the past. I call on the competent authorities to speed up the construction and complete the rest of the works on Corridor Vc, and I will continue to provide support. I remain convinced that we can speed up the work and complete the construction in five to eight years,” said Ambassador Sattler.
Corridor Vc will support economic development and contribute to regional integration, and it is estimated that this significant program will lead to the creation of between 5,000 and 7,500 new jobs. Ambassador Sattler hosted two high-level meetings with BiH representatives, institutions, contractors and representatives of the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which, in addition to grants from the European Union, provide credit funds to ensure the continuation of works. Both meetings, held in 2020, aimed to assess the progress of the works and ensure cooperation between all participants in the process of accelerating the construction of the corridor, bearing in mind that the works have been completed or are underway on only about 50% of construction sites.
In 2015, the European Union launched the Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans and ensured the allocation of grants to co-finance key transport and energy connections in the region until 2020. Grants are provided through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) with complementary credit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). For the upcoming period, through a comprehensive Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, the European Union seeks to foster long-term economic recovery, support green and digital transition, and support regional integration and connectivity with the European Union.
For more information on the works on Corridor Vc please see: http://europa.ba/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/BiH-Corridor-BHS-small.pdf