This time around we have also asked the representatives of the authorities, diplomatic corps, international institutions, business associations, media and many others to express their views on the possible re-arrangement of power in the world, the European and regional political scene, the influences on Serbia’s accession to the EU, economic development, investments in culture, and as an inevitable question this year, elections which are taking place in many countries, including Serbia. We talked to DUBRAVKA NEGRE, Head of EIB (European Investment Bank) Regional Representation for the Western Balkans.
Given the fast-paced changes at the global level what are the challenges your organisation considers as the most urgent to address?
In light of many challenges in the world today, the European Investment Bank (EIB) decided to address one issue in particular, and it is related to the fight against climate change. The idea was not to instigate just another dialogue on this crucial topic but to make an impact with concrete steps and measures. In that regard, the EU Bank has adopted a new energy lending policy at the end of last year stipulating types of energy projects that are compliant with the Bank’s objectives and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. According to the new policy, EIB will help mobilize financing of climate action and environmentally sustainable activities with EUR 1 trillion in the decade ending in 2030, as well as terminate financing of fossil fuel energy projects from late 2021 onward. As the major creditor of climate projects and Europe’s climate bank, the EIB has decided to make this quantum leap towards thesalvation of our planet and tackle global warming. Therefore, in collaboration with our partners, we will support the market integration of renewable energy projects and help transition towards a climate-neutral economy in all the EU countries, which is the aim of the European Green Deal.
How are these challenges relevant for your work in Serbia? How can media outlets like D&C help you in communicating your goals?
In Serbia, environmental issues have started to have a serious impact on people’s life. Up to now, EIB’s activities were primarily directed towards resolving the most urgent infrastructural challenges, such as rehabilitation and construction of motorways and railways, sewerage, water purification and flood protection systems, as to ensure that some of the basic transportation, ecological and sanitary requirements are provided for the citizens. After reconstructing and improving the infrastructure at all levels, we can start developing an environmental infrastructure that will mitigate the effects of climate change. We are focusing on all the Western Balkan countries, as our goal is to promote integration within the region, and the region within the EU, through better, modern transportation networks, energy and digital systems, as well as climate actions. People that live in this region share the same issues, including the environmental problems that trongly impact the quality of their lives and their countries’ economies. That is why we would like a media to help communicate the importance of local and regional integrations through all the sectors, including the very important fight against climate change that is one of the number one priorities in Europe today. EIB has supported environmental projects in Western Balkan countries with EUR 420 million so far, including donations amounting to as much as EUR 13 million