AFD Heads for the Balkans

AFD heads for the Balkans

After Albania and soon Serbia, AFD has been authorized to operate in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and the FYROM. This new opening in the Western Balkans inaugurates AFD’s activity in Europe.

French Development Agency:

(Agence française de développement, AFD) is a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government. It works to fight poverty and promote sustainable development.

So far, yet so near. Up until now, AFD operated in 109 countries around the world, but not on the European continent. This is now happening, AFD heads for the Balkans. On 8 February 2018, our supervisory Interministerial Committee endorsed the granting of a mandate for AFD in Albania. Serbia is also concerned, subject to its legislation being brought into conformity with international anti-money laundering standards.

On 10 July 2018, during the Western Balkans Summit in London, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves le Drian, added four countries to the list. AFD is now authorized to operate in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

AFD will contribute to establishing closer ties between these countries and the European Union, while working for their regional integration. The very broad mandate entrusted to AFD allows a wide range of areas to be covered. “We consequently aim to work on climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable cities, environment, innovation and digital economy”

AFD’s operations will also seek to focus on fragile and neglected areas, but also to strengthen social ties.

Albania: the first 

The confirmation of AFD’s mandate to operate in Albania in February 2018 has just led to the official announcement of the start of our activities to the Albanian authorities. Albania is the first of the six Western Balkan countries authorized to operate and candidate for joining the EU. It is the only State not born of the breakdown of the former Yugoslavia and was a country completely closed off to the outside until the fall, in 1992, of the regime established by Enver Hoxha at the end of the Second World War.

Our operations will contribute to confirming Albania’s European vocation. Firstly by helping it structure its relations with Western Balkan countries and, secondly, with European Union countries. Many challenges lie ahead to achieve a level compatible with European Union membership: service and connectivity infrastructure, economic development, unemployment (especially young people, women, and minorities), large-scale emigration, social services, governance, and transparency.

AFD heads for the Balkans, it is the first step towards a regional mandate for operations in the six countries already referred to and one of the first operations – with Turkey – with a candidate country for European Union membership. Various projects are already under study in cooperation with the main investors present in the region, including the World Bank, European Investment Bank, and Germany’s KfW. AFD Heads for the Balkans

 

Original Source: AFD

Published 13 July