The European Investment Bank (EIB) granted a loan of 25 million EUR to support the priority objective for public education set by the education minister of Serbia-Montenegro, by contributing towards crucial investment in teaching at primary, secondary, general and vocational levels. The programme to reform the education sector in Serbia-Montenegro aims to modernise buildings, build and equip new teacher-training centres and improve vocational training. The loan will also top up resources and aid provided by the European Commission, the European Agency for Reconstruction, the World Bank, the national budget and other sources of funding. This first EIB operation in the field of education in the Western Balkans will help to increase access to education and improve training programmes and levels. It will also help to speed up economic growth and smooth the way for Serbia's integration into the EU. The twenty-year loan will cover 50% of the total investment cost required to complete the project, which will be implemented between 2005 and 2007.