E
The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) supports socio-economic development and EU accession across the Western Balkans (WB) through the provision of finance and technical assistance for strategic investments, particularly in infrastructure, energy efficiency and private sector development. The WBIF is an instrument that blends EU budget grants with loans from European international and bilateral financial institutions. As such, the WBIF is a joint initiative of the EU, International Financial Institutions (IFI), bilateral donors and the governments of the Western Balkans. AETS was nominated by the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) of the European Commission to evaluate the WBIF instrument. The global objective was to: • Provide relevant findings and conclusions showing the overall relevance of WBIF, its contribution to the achievement of objectives set out as well as recommendations to enhance the WBIF’s efficiency and effectiveness. The specific objective of the evaluation was to: • Assess the relevance, added value and cost-effectiveness of the WBIF in delivering investments and Technical Assistance grants while addressing beneficiary needs. The performance of the WBIF since 2009 was assessed by taking on board findings from past and ongoing reviews/needs assessments as well as complementary findings from transport and energy sector projects. The evaluation also made recommendations about future strategic directions. The movement to a sector-based approach in IPA II will require a more strategic vision in programming, closer collaboration amongst ministries and a further reinforcement of coordination with donors and IFIs, especially for the WB. The WBIF is a good example of such a mechanism.

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Energy and Infrastructures

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