The European Investment Bank has appointed Alessandro Bragonzi the new Head of the Regional Representation for the Western Balkans. He is succeeding Dubravka Nègre, whose mandate ended 15 January.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova who is responsible for the Western Balkansstated: “We are looking forward to rolling out our new initiatives for this region to assist the recovery from COVID-19 and the economic transition towards a sustainable, connected, digital and green common market. As the EU bank, we remain firmly committed to helping socioeconomic recovery and the region’s further development on the EU path in line with the European Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan and the Team Europe initiative. These initiatives are essential to generating a more competitive regional market integrated within EU value chains and better living conditions for the people of the Western Balkans. We are confident that Mr Bragonzi, as the new Regional Representative, will be able to build on past achievements and make a considerable contribution to the Bank’s activity in the areas of transport connectivity, SME and vital infrastructure development, digitalisation, the green transition and innovation. Through our local offices across the region, we are expanding the EIB’s footprint, fostering good and fruitful relations with our local partners that can rely on our technical and financial support in implementing their key strategic investments in these sectors.”
When taking on his new role, Alessandro Bragonzi stated:“It is a great honour for me to take on new responsibilities in the region when it is facing another challenging year. The Western Balkans have been severely impacted by the pandemic and remain vulnerable to further shocks. The EIB’s priority is to strengthen economies and healthcare systems while fighting for a smart and green recovery. I look forward to engaging with all our partners, the governments, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders, including fellow international financial institutions. In particular, we aim to scale up renewable energy and energy efficiency, support sustainable transport, increase the availability of social and affordable housing and access to water and help companies in the sectors most impacted by the pandemic.”
As part of Team Europe, the EIB’s priorities for the Western Balkans will continue to be (i) supporting the recovery from COVID-19, (ii) strengthening and modernising their vital infrastructure, and (iii) addressing the financing needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its partner banks. The EU bank will promote investments that encourage better and greener transport connectivity, modern infrastructure, a stronger private sector and the transition towards a green and digital economy, in line with the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan. (For more information: https://www.eib.org/en/projects/pipelines/all/20100280)
Mr. Bragonzi has been with the EIB for 11 years. Prior to this position, he was the EIB’s representative for Albania, responsible for institutional and operational activities of the country, as well as of North Macedonia and Kosovo*. Before his current assignment, he contributed to the development of the Bank’s mandate management activity for EU financial instruments. He appraised, structured and negotiated financing for investment projects and lending to governments, banks and projects, while leading multidisciplinary teams.
As the largest investor in the region, the EIB has unlocked over €8.6 billion since 2009 to support the modernisation of vital infrastructure and the private sector’s development in the Western Balkans. To date, the EIB has invested €365 million in the healthcare sector, including for the renovation of clinical centres in Niš and Banja Luka and 21 regional hospitals. With over €2 billion invested, it has contributed to the construction of hundreds of kilometres of highway along the major regional routes. To support SMEs, it has disbursed more than €4 billion to date, helping to sustain over half a million jobs in the Western Balkans. In 2020 alone, the EU bank mobilised more than €1 billion to alleviate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.