EU provides € 125 million in macro-financial assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article is presented to you in association with the European Commission.
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has provided € 125 million in macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This disbursement is part of the Emergency MFA of € 3 billion for ten enlargement and neighborhood partners, which aims to help them respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. AMF support is provided through loans at very favorable rates. The program is a concrete demonstration of the EU’s solidarity with its partners to help respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paulo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy, said: “This disbursement of 125 million euros in financial assistance represents an important act of solidarity with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is an important contribution to redressing some of the economic and social damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with national authorities over the coming months to implement the necessary policy measures to further strengthen the country’s macroeconomic stability. “
The disbursement of this first tranche follows the agreement and ratification of a memorandum of understanding between the Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The MoU sets out the specific policy measures that Bosnia and Herzegovina will implement to improve economic governance, financial sector stability, transparency and the fight against corruption and a better functioning of the labor market. The disbursement of the second and last tranche of 125 million euros will be conditional on the implementation of these policy measures. The implementation of these political measures will require close cooperation between the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels of government.
With this disbursement, the EU successfully completed five of the 10 MFA programs of the € 3 billion MFA COVID-19 package and disbursed the first installments to all partners.
The Commission continues to work closely with the rest of its MFA partners on the timely implementation of agreed policy programs.
Macrofinancial assistance is part of the EU’s broader engagement with neighborhood and enlargement partners and is designed as an exceptional tool for crisis response. It is available to EU enlargement and neighborhood partners facing serious balance of payments problems. It demonstrates the EU’s solidarity with these partners and support for effective policies in a time of unprecedented crisis.
The decision to provide macro-financial assistance to ten enlargement and neighborhood partners in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was proposed by the Commission on 22 April 2020 and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 25 May 2020 .
In addition to the MFA, the EU supports partners in the neighborhood and the Western Balkans through several other instruments, including humanitarian aid, budget support, thematic programs, technical assistance, blending facilities and guarantees from the European Fund for Sustainable Development to support investments in the sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina relations
In addition to the envisaged AMF loan of € 250 million, the EU has already provided € 95 million in grants to Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the country in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the EU4Health grant of € 13.7 million for vaccines, the EU provided € 7.76 million to meet medical needs (over 6 million personal protective equipment, 66 ventilators, 75 ECG monitors, 20 portable ultrasound machines and other equipment). 73.5 million euros have been committed to support socio-economic recovery.
The continued delivery of EU-funded vaccines is also a concrete sign of EU solidarity. Overall, Bosnia and Herzegovina has also received almost 1.3 million doses of vaccine donated by the EU and its Member States. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also invited to join the EU’s Covid digital certificate system.