Brussels, 6 July 2012
European Commission to provide additional funding for key investment projects in the Neighbourhood
Brussels, 06 July 2012 - The European Commission has today announced additional support for the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) for this year. The extra funding will go towards helping countries in the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood in areas such as road building, climate change, energy or supporting businesses.
The Neighbourhood Investment Facility brings together grants from the European Commission and the EU Member States with loans from European public finance institutions, as well as contributions from the partner countries; helping to support its neighbours in carrying out necessary infrastructure projects.
"Since its launch in 2008, the Neighbourhood Investment Facility has proven to be a vital tool in EU cooperation in the Neighbourhood region. It helps our partners to make a difference in the areas where it is needed most, like energy, transport, the environment or the social sector. It also helps generate additional financial resources and to deliver on concrete projects.", said Stefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.
Projects funded in 2011 covered a wide range of initiatives and sectors, for instance: rehabilitation of a highway in Georgia, promotion of energy efficiency in the Republic of Moldova, or extension of the metro system in Cairo.
Thanks to the NIF, the European Neighbourhood Fund 'SANAD (which means 'support' in Arabic), was established to help micro, small and medium enterprises particularly affected by the financial crisis in the Southern Neighbourhood.
Since the beginning of 2011 the NIF has also included a Climate Change Window to support partner countries' projects in tackling climate change.
The Neighbourhood Investment Facility was officially launched in May 2008 in order to strengthen overall EU grant support for lending operations carried out by European multilateral and bilateral development finance institutions in the European Neighbourhood countries.
Today's new allocation is worth an additional €150 million. €700 million have already been foreseen for the period of 2007-2013, out of which €395 million have been already allocated.
The EU Budget contribution is complemented by pledged contributions from 15 Member States, which reached €70 million in 2011.
The NIF operations focus on those Eastern and Southern neighbouring countries which have already signed an ENP action plan with the European Union. Nevertheless, other neighbouring countries may also benefit from NIF grant on a case by case basis, for example when it comes to projects of a cross-border or regional nature.
To date, the NIF has supported 52 projects representing a total investment cost of about €4.3 billion.
For more information
Download the 2011 Annual Operational Report of the NIF
On the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP):
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)