The European Union has donated more than EUR300 million towards environmental protection through various projects – from introduction of the system of automatic air quality control, the construction of regional landfills and water protection, to wastewater management.

Environmental protection is among the most challenging areas within the accession process, with chapter 27 (which also covers climate change and civil protection) being one of the largest and most diversified.

“The bulk of previously implemented activities and those currently underway are in fact implemented with financial assistance of and in partnership with the European Union,” said Danijela Bozanic Head of Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Assistance to environment, including pollution abatement in the energy sector accounts for approximately 12% of EU funding made available to Serbia since 2000 – not including funding provided bilaterally by EU member states. If we include investment in energy efficiency measures and including the rehabilitation of power generation capacity in the early years of 2000 this figure rises to 19%.

“Our engagement has become visible through improvement in air quality, particularly in cities located in the vicinity of major thermal power stations. Our engagement has contributed to a decrease in harmful gas emissions which, naturally, had an impact on the well-being of citizens,” said Rainer Freund who has been engaged in a number of environmental projects at the EU Delegation to Serbia.

Breakdown by individual areas shows that the EU has invested EUR63 million in air quality measurements, by throwing money at equipment purchase and setting up of automatic air measuring stations.

Four large landfills have been constructed – in Uzice, Subotica, Pirot, Sremska Mitrovica and Sabac; also, considerable investment has been made in the area of flood risk management and relief.

The value of projects currently underway amounts to EUR195 million, with anticipated assistance for future activities standing at EUR27 million.