Serbia and EU sign new support package worth EUR 138 million

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The European Union and the Government of Serbia signed today a financing agreement which will guarantee Serbia another 138.55 million Euros in donations.

These funds will not have to be repaid and are being provided as grants. These support packages as signed today are being provided on an annual basis by the EU for Serbia. Serbia will also keep receiving similar support packages in forthcoming years.

In the last ten years the EU granted support to Serbia worth 2.5 billion Euros. These funds aim at supporting Serbia meeting European standards and to help modernise the country – ranging from topics such as public administration reform, environmental protection, agriculture, infrastructure, support to the digital economy to name a few.

The latest agreement was signed today by Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic and the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotations, Mr Oliver Varheyli in the presence of President Aleksandar Vucic and the Ambassador of the European Union to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi.

The funds will be allocated into projects, run by implementing partners and will be largely dedicated to three areas:

  • Competitiveness and Innovation: The largest part (EUR 76,5 million) of the aid package goes to the economic sector. It includes support for improvement of the business environment, support for the innovation capacity of small and medium companies; and providing substantial support of more than 30 million EUR for the Science Fund. It is expected that the implementation of these funds will improve the way small and medium enterprises grow and compete on the market; it will generate jobs in cutting edge and innovative fields; boost scientific and research potential, helping Serbia’s economy transition to a high skilled economy.
  • Rule of law : Serbian Judges, prosecutors and investigators will benefit from advisory missions with peer experts from EU member states. The programme in this area worth altogether EUR 18 million will help drive the judiciary reform.
  • Democracy and governance support: This package covers trainings for public servants, the alignment of legislation with EU standards, expertise for best European practice in the area of governance. This area is funded with more than 18 million Euros.

Other areas covered include support for the participation in EU programmes such as the science programme Horizon 2020 or the educational programme Erasmus+. Support to countering the effects of disasters such as floods is also part of the newly signed aid package.

The European Union is Serbia’s number one partner: its biggest donor (over 2,5 billion of non-refundable grants in the last 10 years), main trade partner (65% of total trade) and first investor (70% of total Foreign Direct Investments).

Actions funded through newly signed support package of the EU for Serbia

1. EU Support for governance 18,173,897.00
2. Support to the Participation in Union Programmes (Erasmus, COSME, Horizon 2020) 15,876,103.00
3. EU for the Rule of Law 18,000,000.00
4. EU for Civil Protection and Disaster Resilience Strengthening   (support in the case of floods, health emergencies, earthquakes) 10,000,000.00
5. EU for Competitiveness, Research and Development and Innovation 76,500,000.00
TOTAL 138,550,000.00
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