The EU projects fair titled EU and Serbia at Work, featuring the most prominent EU-funded projects in Vojvodina, was held in Zrenjanin within the traditional manifestation European Village.

The EU projects fair featured some thirty EU-funded projects worth a few hundred million euros in total.

The fair was marked by Romania’s tenth anniversary in the EU and excellent cooperation between Serbia and said EU Member established through cross-border projects. This is why the Embassy of Romania was invited to co-host this year’s fair, together with the EU Delegation to Serbia, the Serbian European Integration Office and the City of Zrenjanin.

Benedikt: We are celebrating the European spirit of Zrenjanin

The EU projects fair EU and Serbia at Work and the manifestation European Village were officially launched by Jadranka Joksimovic Minister without portfolio in charge of European integration, Oskar Benedikt Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Cedomir Janjic the Mayor of Zrenjanin, and Milan Cezek of the European Affairs Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.

“Today we celebrate the European spirit of Zrenjanin together. I am inviting the citizens to get to know the European Union as well as possible because it is the future of Serbia,” said Oskar Benedikt, Acting Head of the EU Delegation, a frequent guest of the European Village.

Minister Joksimovic said during the launch that Serbia had always been a part of Europe and that it belonged in Europe in both cultural and historic sense.”The European Union, the organisation that brought peace and stability to Europe, is today the best place to live and work in the world. This is why Serbia has embarked on the European journey,” said the Minister in charge of European integration, Jadrank Joksimovic.

EU support for the development of tourism, flood prevention and strengthening of entrepreneurs

The visitors of the Fair had a chance to see numerous cross-border cooperation projects implemented with Romania and successfully managed by the Serbian European Integration Office aimed at strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism, flood prevention and empowering entrepreneurs from municipalities in Backa region.

At the stand which presented the Support for Flood Relief programme and future plans in this area, it was said that the European Union had invested substantial funds to support flood relief efforts and would continue to support municipalities across Vojvodina within the next phase of the programme.

The Ministry of Culture and Information made a presentation of the EU-supported project it designed aimed at the reconstruction of monastery and fortress in Bac and the construction of the so-called diffused museum in that municipality. The visitors could also familiarise themselves with numerous projects in the area of social inclusion, support to pre-school children in particular, support to Roma and IDPs.

Minister Joksimovic and Charge d’Affaires Benedikt toured the stands of the European Village where elementary pupils from Zrenjanin depicted their vision of of EU Member States.

Romania’s European experience

Ahead of EU fair launch ceremony, the Assembly of the City of Zrenjanin hosted the debate “European values, benefits and challenges of EU membership – Romania’s experience.” The participants in the debate were H.E. Oana Cristina Popa Romanian Ambassador to Serbia, and Sandra Simic Assistant Director of the Serbian European Integration Office.

Ambassador Popa talked about Romania’s seven-year long EU membership negotiations, the social transition and an increase in the quality of life in the country following the accession.

Also, the citizens of Zrenjanin had a chance to attend two exhibitions about the EU: Ever Closer Union, put on in the lobby of the Assembly, featuring 14 panels depicting historical development of European integration since the signature of the Treaties of Rome to the modern day challenges faced by Europe.

The other exhibition, on display at the Medison hall as a part of the EU projects fair, features a selection of photos depicting success stories concerning EU-Serbia cooperation and conveying a message about common values in various aspects of life – from education to ecology and culture.