The Minister of European Integration and National IPA Coordinator Jadranka Joksimovic signed the Trust Agreement today on behalf of the Republic of Serbia, by which the European Union provided our country a grant of 11,968,276 euros from the EU Solidarity Fund, for financing of urgent activities in the fight against Covid 19, as well as for implementation of other measures to recover the Serbian health system.

Head of the EU Delegation Emanuele Giaufret previously handed the Agreement to  Minister Joksimovic.  The European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira recently had signed the agreement on behalf of the EU already. The amount provides for a partial cover of the costs incurred during the public health crisis resulting from the pandemic.

Minister Joksimovic stated that the assistance of the European Union, which was provided by today’s signing of the Agreement, is another concrete proof of long-term support for Serbia in times of crisis. “The possibility to use this Fund under the same conditions as full EU members once again testifies to the solidarity of the EU with the citizens of our country, but also to the concrete benefits of the process of joining the Union”, said Joksimovic.

Thanks to the European Union for the coverage of the received aid, she pointed out the fact that the amount allocated to Serbia is higher than the one received from the same Fund by some member states. She also reminded that this is the second time that Serbia has received funds from the EU Solidarity Fund. “Also after the catastrophic floods in 2014, as the national IPA coordinator, I led the process of applying for relief assistance, which resulted in a donation to Serbia worth just over 60 million”, said the Minister. She emphasised that according to that model, back at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, she established a new working group in order to immediately, in a transparent and comprehensive manner and with the participation of all relevant institutions, list all public costs in the first four months of the pandemic. As Joksimovic pointed out, we have thus shown the seriousness of the approach in relation to our European partners, as well as our readiness to work as best as possible in the interest of the citizens of Serbia.

Joksimovic especially emphasised that in the time of current very complex geopolitical and geoeconomic conditions on the European continent, it is important to show once again the solidarity of the European Union with our country, concrete support that citizens receive, but also Serbia’s commitment to the European order and values. “We have shown that we have the capacity to use the opportunities provided to us in the use of EU funds, spending those funds for recovery from the crisis, but not neglecting for a moment the reform activities from the negotiation process, regardless of the complexity of the circumstances,” Joksimovic said.

Ambassador Giaufret stated:

This grant worth almost 12 million from the EU is another expression of our commitment to support Serbia to fight the pandemic. In the fight against Covid the EU has stood side by side with Serbia from the beginning. We financed cargo flights to transport medical goods, we financed medical workers and significantly helped Serbia to buy vaccines. Serbia received ambulances and protective masks. And the EU invested during 20 years more than 516 million Euros into the health sector of Serbia. Many of the hospitals around the country are financed by the EU. ”

Based on the decision of the European Commission from 2021, the European Union Solidarity Fund provided 530 million euros for the fight against Covid 19, for 17 member states and three countries with candidate status. Specifically, Serbia was provided with funds for the purchase of disinfectants, personal protective equipment, medical tools and devices at the beginning of the pandemic, during 2020.