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Regional Funding Conference for South East Europe: the international community honours its pledges to the region

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Published
Brussels March 29, 2000 - A two-day Regional Funding Conference for South East Europe opened in Brussels today, jointly chaired by European Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten, and World Bank President, James D. Wolfensohn, in close association with the Special Co-ordinator for the Stability Pact, Bodo Hombach.
Both donors and governments of the region renewed and re-inforced their commitments to live up to their Stability Pact commitments, to work together to transform the prospects for South East Europe and to integrate the region into the Euro Atlantic mainstream. They reviewed progress since the launch of the Stability Pact in Sarajevo in June last year.

The Conference marks a significant step in the translation of the Stability Pact principles into real progress on the ground - visible, tangible progress that makes a real difference to people's lives. It highlights a new partnership between the region and the rest of the international community, involving obligations on both sides. All the participants recognised the importance of a joint commitment to reform on the one hand, and to integration with European and global structures, on the other.

The Conference demonstrates solid progress by the region in delivering on its commitments to reform. Countries today set out in detail their ambitious reform plans. These build on achievements since Sarajevo -such as the investment compact, the anti-corruption initiative and progress in promoting a strong and open civil society, including a free and independent media.

The Conference demonstrates also that the international community is honouring its pledges to stand by the reforms and by the region. The Conference will be discussing tomorrow a major package of projects designed to promote regional co-operation. The total value of the projects under discussion amounts to €1.8 billion ($1.6 billion). This money will fund quick start projects, which will start in the next twelve months, to upgrade infrastructure, promote trade, encourage investment, protect human rights, tackle corruption and boost co-operative security. All of these measures will be linked to progress by the region in implementing crucial reforms.

All of the projects to be discussed tomorrow have a clear regional dimension and are designed to promote co-operation between, as well as within, countries. They aim to harness the new spirit of regional partnership being nurtured in the region - examples of which include agreements reached in recent weeks on the Romania-Bulgaria bridge over the Danube, the Blace border crossing, and a Regional Trade and Transport Facilitation project, covering all countries in the region.

Today's conference again focused attention on how much a democratic Yugoslavia stands to gain from full inclusion in regional initiatives and, in general, from financial support of the international donor community. FRY opposition representatives are present as guests of the Stability Pact at the conference.

For further information on reconstruction and development in South East Europe , please visit the European Commission/World Bank website at http://www.seerecon.org

Summary of funding requirements in Euros for the Stability Pact-Quick Start Package

Cross - Table initiatives

Activities
TOTAL
Anti-corruption Initiative
1.800.000
Trauma and Reconciliation in SEE
2.500.000
Social Development Initiative (WB)
860.000
Total
5.160.000

Working Table I

Activities
TOTAL
Human Rights and Minorities
6.950.223
Good Governance
Public Administration
1.555.700
Local Government
1.253.800
Ombudsman
229.000
Gender
896.368
Media
11.827.300
Parliamentary Exchange
869.740
Education
11.601.842
Szeged Process
1.500.000
SUBTOTAL
36.683.973
Refugees/Displaced Persons 162.9 Meuro will be financed by the European Commission, 20 Meuro by the Netherlands (for minority returns in BiH), 30 Meuro by Germany, 18.5 Meuro by the US. Other bilateral pledges are expected at the Conference.
231.400.000
TOTAL
268.083.973

Working Table II

Activities
TOTAL
Infrastructure The EIB report includes three categories of projects: Projects for Quick Start amounting to EURO 1.131.000.000, Near Term Projects amounting to EURO 2.735.000.000 and Medium Term Projects (no figures given).
1.131.000.000
Private Sector Development EBRD report includes two categories of projects: Projects for Quick Start amounting to EURO 290.Meuro and Near Term Projects amounting to 150 Meuro.
290.000.000
Investment Compact
2.000.000
Environment
19.550.000
Vocational Education and Training
6.532.000
Total
1.449.082.000

Working Table III

Activities
TOTAL
Defence and Security
67.021.487
Justice and Home Affairs
10.796.118
Total
77.817.605

Aggregate Total

Activities
TOTAL
Cross Table Activities
5.160.000
Working Table I
268.083.973
Working Table II
1.449.082.000
Working Table III
77.817.605
Total
1.800.143.578

Contact Person:

European Commission: Gunnar Wiegand

Tel: (32) 296.3110/0476.585.851

World Bank : Rachel Winter Jones

Tel: (32) 0476.470.930