After more than half a century, the City of Belgrade Emergency Medical Institute will be reconstructed thanks to a project financed by the European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The project will include works to improve energy efficiency, as well as the addition and expansion of existing facilities for an additional 4000m2. Energy efficiency improvement measures include thermal insulation, improved heating, ventilation and cooling systems, as well as the introduction of energy-efficient lighting systems.
The Agreement on the donation of the European Union in the amount of 8.8 million euros in grants was signed today in the presence of the Mayor of Belgrade Aleksandar Šapić, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia Emanuele Giaufret, the EBRD Director for the Western Balkans Matteo Colangeli, the Minister of Health Danica Grujičić and the Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević.
Emanuele Giaufret, Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, stated, “This project precisely combines topics of public healthcare and energy in the best possible way, both of which the EU cares a great deal. The reconstruction and capacity increase of the Emergency Medical Institute in Belgrade is part of a larger project that includes the renovation of three other important city facilities: the Student Polyclinic, Student Hospital, and the Belgrade City Library. I would also like to remind you of the upcoming projects for the reconstruction of VMA (Military Medical Academy) and the construction of the Children’s Hospital Tiršova 2, for which the EU has provided 36 million euros in grants. New green projects are starting in Kostolac and Vlasina, and over 190,000 vulnerable families will have lower electricity and district heating bills thanks to the EU Energy Support Package worth 165 million euros“
Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, said: “With rising energy prices, the case for investing in buildings’ energy efficiency is increasingly compelling. Beyond reduced energy bills, these investments contribute to cutting air pollution and creating green jobs in the local economy. In the coming years, EBRD will step up investments in Belgrade and other cities across Serbia in this important area.”
Aleksandar Šapić, Mayor of Belgrade, stated, “I am pleased that this city administration has managed to complete certain administrative tasks within our jurisdiction, to comply with procedures, and to have the opportunity to utilise various benefits provided by the European Union with the assistance of the EBRD. I hope that this investment will not be the last, and we expect similar ones in the future. We will do everything to justify the trust and fulfil the requirements for continued cooperation, but most importantly, to ensure that our citizens greatly benefit from it.”
Tanja Miščević, Minister of European Integration, highlighted numerous benefits of this project, emphasizing that its results will be highly important for all citizens of Belgrade. She added, “This is not the beginning; the EU has already donated funds and equipment for healthcare protection of citizens to a great extent. These projects have also utilised IPA non-refundable funds, which is one way to address the needs of our fellow citizens and to concretely demonstrate that the process of European integration contributes to all of us even before membership.”
Danica Grujičić, Minister of Health, emphasised that despite the challenging conditions in which the Emergency Medical Institute building is located, its employees always manage to respond at the highest level as the first line of defence for health. “I thank the EU for this donation and appeal to our partners from the EU to invest more in our healthcare.”
In addition to signing of the donation, a tender for reconstruction works of the Emergency Medical Institute was also announced today. The European Union grants, as well as a previously secured EBRD loan of 5 million euros will be used to finance works on the reconstruction and expansion of the capacities of the Emergency Medical Institute building. The total expected costs of investment are around 14 million euros. In addition, the European Union provided a donation of 1.7 million euros for technical assistance to the City of Belgrade for support in the implementation of the project, supervision of construction works and assistance in reviewing the potential for energy efficiency and introducing a sustainable financing mechanism in the City.
As a result of these investments, it is expected that energy consumption in buildings and CO2emissions will be significantly reduced. Additional benefits include a higher quality of heating and cooling, and therefore better comfort for users of the facility, as well as significant budget savings. The investment is one of the priority projects defined by the “Green Cities” Action Plan for Belgrade, in cooperation with the EBRD. The “Green Cities” Program, which Belgrade joined in 2019, supports the efforts of cities to invest in green and sustainable infrastructure and solve key environmental challenges. The Action Plan was adopted in 2021 and this is one of the first investments identified by that plan.
Increasing energy efficiency in buildings and residential blocks is one of the EBRD’s priorities, on which it cooperates with the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Mining and Energy. The building sector is one of the largest consumers of energy for heating and cooling, and the introduction of energy efficiency measures would lead to significant savings in energy consumption.
The European Union is a bigger donor that all other international donors combined. With an energy support package of 165 million euros, the EU has invested more than one billion euros in Serbia’s energy sector in the past two decades. In 2022 alone, EU support to Serbia’s energy sector is estimated at 100 million euros. Diversification of energy sources, security of supply, energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the economy, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, are the main objectives of EU support. The support of the European Union is realised in cooperation with the Government of Serbia. The EU will continue to support Serbia in harmonising with the Eu acquis and creating structures that will enable further investments in the decarbonisation of the energy sector.