It is clear to everyone that thus year was marked by coronavirus, and many are tired of talking about it and reading about the symptoms, death rate, people at risk of losing their income… However, before we step into the next year, expecting it will magically be better than this one as soon as the clock strikes midnight, let us “draw the line”, but fairly.

Therefore, it is good to remind ourselves once again that these difficult times yielded many heroes. Fear, panic and health concerns have brought out the best in people – solidarity, care and compassion.

Solidarity is one of the principles that guided those who helped the citizens of Serbia enormously. Even though Serbia is not an EU Member State, it has asked for and received substantial support from the EU since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hard to imagine millions of euros, right? Let us take a look at how they were allocated and how they helped our citizens.

Triage containers manufactured in Serbia

bought with the money from the European Union since March. However, triage containers really stand out from the rest of equipment that was genuinely helpful to doctors. Specifically, one hundred of these containers, with corresponding equipment, used to examine and direct patients further, have been placed in front of health care institutions throughout Serbia. Equipped with appropriate medical tools, they ensure that the sick receive the best care possible, and that physicians remain protected during their long shifts.

Procurement and installation of containers cost EUR590,000, and it is especially important that they are made entirely in Serbia.


The first wave, the second wave, the second peak, the third peak… We can hear more frequently that hospital capacities are almost full, and daily reports show many people were tested, hospitalised and how many of them are on ventilators. These are the most severely affected patients, and these machines literally “breathe” in their stead before they overcome the worst and recover. This is why ventilators are so important and why they come up in discussions so often.

The European Union has donated 50 ventilators to Serbia, as well as 50 ICU monitors and 25 devices for monitoring, ventilation and anaesthesia.

New jobs for 200 people

Teachers, bakers, farmers, salespeople, cleaners – they have all contributed to maintaining the sense of “normality” in our lives. Despite their undeniable efforts, the biggest credit still goes to physicians, nurses, and others health professionals.

Many people were hired this autumn to help the exhausted medical workers – around two hundred people were deployed to health care facilities throughout Serbia. Some of them work in teams made up of a physician, two nurses and an administrative worker, while others, such as molecular biologists and virologists, were hired for a six-month period, and the engagement of these local experts was fully financed by the European Union. Over EUR 1 million was allocated for their salaries and they were also given sets of working uniforms.

Procurement of supplies and vehicles

The support for the health care system of Serbia had begun much earlier than the pandemic broke out, and the aid offered previously has enabled the system to keep on working and helping citizens.  Since 2000, Serbia has received 252 ambulance vehicles, donated by the EU to health centres across Serbia. Almost half of those vehicles, that is 122 of them, have been shipped with ventilators that have proven to be essential in the fight against COVID-19.

The fleet is increasing another 12 ambulance vehicles with mobile respirators have recently been donated, in addition to two vehicles for decontamination and 75 sets of highly protective equipment.

Additionally, the European Union offered EUR 93 million to Serbia as a package for fight against COVID-19. In total, aid to the tune of EUR 290 million was offered to the Western Balkans countries.

EUR 93 million is allocated for urgent measures (EUR 15 million) and long-term measures for economic recovery (EUR 78 million).

The urgent measures included the transport of necessary medical supplies and materials procured by Serbia from abroad. Over EUR 7 million was used to finance 15 cargo flights which transported more than 720 tons of goods, part of which was donated by the EU and the other part purchased by the Government of Serbia.

Oxygen concentrators, ventilators, intensive care monitors, gloves, masks, non-contact thermometers, reagents for COVID-19 tests… are just a fraction of emergency donations provided by the European Union to Serbia.

And the story does not end here… We are actively working to sign contracts with suppliers for a donation of additional 20 ambulance vehicles, three types of refrigerators and deep-freezing devices (up to -80° C; -30° C; and from 2° to 8° C) for the storage of vaccines against COVID -19 which are expected to arrive in our country in the first months of 2021, as well as vehicles for the distribution of vaccines for public health institutes throughout Serbia.

EUForYou, still.