Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe and River Danube

House of Lords written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans for major economic investments have been agreed as a result of the Stability Pact for south-eastern Europe; and whether by now the Danube Commission has been successful in reopening the river to full navigation and restoring damaged and destroyed bridges.

Photo of Baroness Amos Baroness Amos President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords (Privy Council Office)

Since 1999 the stability pact has worked to enhance the economic investment environment in south-east Europe by establishing an infrastructure steering group. This group includes the European Investment Bank, World Bank, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Council of Europe Bank and is chaired by the European Commission. Under the framework of the stability pact, 57 infrastructure projects in phase 1 have received a total of 3.68 billion euros in three sectors: regional transport, energy and environment. The next phase will also focus on infrastructure investment and is on-going. The stability pact has also encouraged foreign direct investment by helping to create free trade in the region.

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The river Danube is open for navigation. All of the debris from the bridges destroyed in 1999 was cleared from the river by May 2003 and almost 7,000 vessels passed through Novi Sad in 2003. The Danube Commission is not responsible for rebuilding the bridges. However, one bridge has been replaced by a pontoon bridge (river traffic is allowed through every second night), one by a temporary bridge and one bridge is being rebuilt, with completion expected by the end of 2004.

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