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The Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans: assessing the possible economic, social and environmental impact of the proposed Flagship projects


This study provides Members of the European Parliament and other interested stakeholders with an independent evaluation of the likely economic, social and environmental impacts from the 10 Flagship projects of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans (EIP), adopted by the European Commission on 6 October 2020. On the basis of a tailor-made methodology, the EIP projects’ impact is assessed according to their relevance, effectiveness and efficiency, as well as their synergies and coherence with the wider aims of the EIP and EU enlargement policy. The study identifies the novel aspects of these Flagship projects and considers lessons learned from previous EU and international assistance. Finally, the study evaluates the projects’ overall economic, social and environmental impacts as well as their transversal implications in the Western Balkans. In the concluding section, potential obstacles to successful implementation are identified and some recommendations are proposed on ways to improve the EIP’s developmental impact, thereby ensuring effective strategic guidance and scrutiny by the European Parliament.