Minister Jadranka Joksimović: EUR 1 billion for reforms from EU by 2020

05. July 2017. | Belgrade

Minister Jadranka Joksimović: EUR 1 billion for reforms from EU by 2020

Minister of European Integration in the Government of the Republic of Serbia Jadranka Joksimović, has said today that, from 2016 to 2020, Serbia can expect EUR 1 billion in grants from the European Union for the reform process.

At the Support to Local Self-Governments in Serbia on the Road to the EU meeting, Joksimović stressed that not only high political issues were important for European integration, but also relevant programmes, contribution to development, support to innovations and preparation for a better future of Serbia in the EU.

"Despite all its problems, the European Union remains the best place to live," the Minister said.

Indicating that 60 to 70 percent of regulations and European standards to be reached were related to local self-governments, Joksimović said that municipalities and cities would be the main drivers of change.

She pointed out that the Republic of Serbia made good use of its candidate status, which was a good stage to be used to improve standards, as well as for internal development and state modernisation.

“It is important that we fully benefit from the advantages of the candidate status in order to be prepared when the membership comes”, said Joksimović, adding that using the period leading up to Serbia’s ultimate goal in the best way possible was more important than the membership itself.

Joksimović noted that some countries had become part of the European family without being fully prepared, so that they could not even feel all the benefits of the membership, adding that local self-governments could help along the path of reforms that were set before Serbia.

She recalled that, with the opening of chapters − ten of which had already been opened − Serbia was showing that it had, to some extent, achieved standards in a certain area.

"Reforms, progress and the development of society are key words," said the Minister.

She pointed out that the Ministry of European Integration would deal with the development and use of funds, noting that Serbia had EUR 200 million available from the IPA funds annually.

In terms of other funds, she listed other programmes such as Horizon 2020, Competitiveness Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises, Employment and Social Innovation Programme, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens, European Health Programme, and Customs Programme 2020.

Among the priorities, Joksimović highlighted the adoption of the Development Strategy, adding that the ministry headed by her was absolutely ready to participate in the drafting of this document.

Source: Tanjug