The European Union announced an energy support package worth 1 billion euros to help the Western Balkans deal with the ongoing energy crisis in Europe.
The European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU continues to stand behind the Western Balkans and it is putting together 1 billion euros energy support package to protect the most vulnerable groups and boost much-needed investments in energy diversification. The EU is investing in the economic fabric of the region to advance in the clean energy transition and come out greener, stronger, and more sustainable from the current crisis.
To help address the immediate effects of the ongoing energy crisis and build resilience in the short and medium term, the commission is ready to provide budget support of 500 million euros in a measure to be adopted in December and implemented in January. The EU aims to support households and small- and medium-sized enterprises to cushion energy price hikes and their impact.
Over the short and medium term, the EC plans to provide another 500 million euros to boost energy diversification, renewable energy generation, and gas and electricity interconnections through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
Short-term measures in the next 1-2 years will support diversification of energy supplies, by boosting gas and electricity interconnectors including liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as by supporting the construction of renewable energy projects and the energy efficiency measures.
The medium-term assistance in the next 2-3 years will include other investments contributing to the energy transition and security. These measures will cover large-scale renewable energy generation projects, upgrade of energy transmission systems, district heating, and schemes for energy efficiency for the old apartments.