The Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Serbia, Nicola Bertolini, visited today in Sokobanja, Paraćin and Svilajnac the projects that the EU supports to improve the quality of life of citizens through the improvement of local and economic infrastructure, social inclusion and environmental protection.

In Sokobanja, Nicola Bertolini with the Mayor Miodrag Nikolić, visited the drinking water treatment plant, which was reconstructed in 2019 with the help of EU funds, when over 2,700 metres of new primary water supply network was built. The EU invested close to 750,000 euros in this project.

„Here in Sokobanja, we see that investments are realised in accordance with needs. And since the tourist orientation of Sokobanja is important for the economic development of this municipality, it is fundamental to preserve nature and ensure a stable water supply throughout the year, and the EU supports such projects“, said Nicola Bertolini.

„This is one of the largest EU investments in the municipality that helped us solve the water supply issue, while we will work on the construction of a wastewater treatment, also supported by European Union funds, as well as solving the issue of separation and storage of waste“, said the Mayor of Sokobanja.

In Paraćin, the representative of the EU Delegation visited the works on the construction of an amphitheatre and children’s playground, which the EU is financing with 170,000 Euros through the EU PRO Plus programme, in order to arrange public areas in the central part of the municipality and create a communal, culture and entertainment spot for the residents of Paraćin.

„I am glad that during my first visit to Paraćin I can see implementation of this important EU-funded project related to green urbanisation. We also discussed other projects related to environmental protection, education and economic development, which are important for the further development of the municipality”, said Bertolini.

„With the support of the EU, we are developing the centre of the municipality, connecting it to the river, while the amphitheatre and children’s playground will be a place for gathering people, especially children, as well as for organising cultural events,“ said the Mayor of Paraćin and announced that the works should be completed in September.

In Paraćin, Bertolini and Milićević also visited the „Zmič“ industrial zone, where the EU continues to support the improvement of economic infrastructure through the preparation of technical documentation that will include road infrastructure, hydrotechnical and electrical installations, and traffic signalisation.

In Svilajnac, the Head of cooperation of the EU Delegation, Nicola Bertolini, and the Mayor of the Predrag Milanović, visited a newly constructed building for social housing built through „European Union Support for Social Housing and Active Inclusion“ programme, which provided a new home for 25 families belonging to the most vulnerable social groups.

Bertolini also visited the New Economic Zone, where the EU invested 200,000 Euros in the construction of access roads and communal infrastructure, thus helping the arrival of new investors. The EU also provided significant support of 2.7 million Euros for the regulation of the Resava River in order to protect Svilajnac from floods.

“Well-developed municipality is the one close to the European Union, and that is the case with Svilajnac. The EU-funded projects I have seen today are well implemented and well maintained and this is the basis for receiving more funds and more support and for becoming a model for many other municipalities in Serbia”, said Nicola Bertolini in Svilajnac.

„Svilajnac is a good example of cooperation with the European Union, that is the largest donor to the municipality, and if it were not for EU funds, we would not have recovered from the 2014 flood. We, in the municipality of Svilajnac, believe that there must be local self-governments that are drivers of the growth in Serbia, and the support of the EU is very important for such development“, said the Mayor of Svilajnac Predrag Milanović and added that he hopes to continue this successful cooperation.