A troubled bridge over Balkan waters

A bne IntelliNews piece discusses the local and geopolitical disputes over Croatia’s long-awaited bridge over the Adriatic that will connect the Dubrovnik region to the rest of Croatia, allowing vehicles to bypass Bosnia’s 12 km of coastline. Bosnia has long objected to the Plejsiac Bridge project, claiming it will prevent large ships from entering the port of Neum on the small stretch of the Bosnian Adriatic Coast. But a recent deal between Zagreb and the Chinese fire China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) on the construction of the bridge is the source of a broader controversy. The Peljesac Bridge is an EU-funded project in an EU state, and CRBC undercut European firms to win the tender to build the bridge. Beijing is currently funding and building infrastructure projects in the Balkans as part of its new Silk Road initiative, and by winning the tender for the largest project in Croatia, an EU state, China is posing a challenge to the dominant position of European engineering and construction firms in the EU market.


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