Bosnia to unlock €2bn funds from the EU if it strikes deal with IMF

By bne IntelliNews August 9, 2016

Bosnia & Herzegovina will get around 2bn in funding from the European Union in the next four years if it completes a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), daily Nezavisne Novine reported on August 8.

Bosnia and the IMF have already agreed the parameters of a new three-year deal with the fund, which is to be approved by the IMF’s executive board in September. When the new arrangement was agreed, the IMF noted that it will unlock additional financing by the EU and the World Bank.

The EU funds will be provided only if the country implements the reforms required by the union and the fund.

“The international community has planned to secure more than 2bn to help BiH in the next three-to-four years. Out of this, some 850mn will go for direct budgetary support, while 1.3bn will be invested in infrastructure,” Nezavisne Novine quoted Zora Stanic, spokeswoman of the EU delegation to Bosnia.

Bosnia formally applied for EU membership in February this year and hopes to get candidate status next year.

The country was close to losing the new agreement with the IMF. In July, the country missed the technical deadline to send the letter of intent as the prime minister of Bosnia’s bigger entity, the Muslim-Croat Federation, Fadil Novalic, and the head of the state-level government, Denis Zvizdic, declined to sign it until Republika Srpska finally agreed to the adaptation of the country’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU and agreed on a mechanism for working coordination with the EU. On July 18, the country initialed the SAA adaptation. At the end of July, Bosnia finally sent a properly signed letter of intent.

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