More than EUR 9.5 million for 77 new infrastructure projects

October 01 2018 | Belgrade

More than EUR 9.5 million for 77 new infrastructure projects

The European Union (EU), through the EU PRO Development Programme, has allocated funds in the amount of EUR 9.6 million for the implementation of 77 new infrastructure projects, as decided at the EU PRO Steering Committee meeting held in Belgrade. The projects will contribute to the realization of investments and opening of new jobs with the final goal of improving the quality of life for residents of 99 local self-governments in Serbia.

Approved assistance includes, inter alia, the financing of 37 local infrastructure projects with a total value of EUR 6.1 million, of which the EU has provided EUR 4.5 million. These projects include the construction and reconstruction of public purpose facilities, educational, healthcare and social protection institutions, sports and cultural centres, as well as the improvement of municipal infrastructure. In this way, the European Union will directly contribute to better quality of life of people in two regions in Serbia - the regions of Šumadija and Western Serbia and Southern and Eastern Serbia, while the local self-governments will participate in project financing with EUR 1.6 million.

“The Government is continuously working on improving conditions for sustainable economic and social development of Serbia. In that sense, with the support of the European Union, grants were provided for the implementation of projects in less developed and underdeveloped parts of Serbia that are primarily aimed at promoting sustainable regional development and further acquainting local actors with the possibilities of using the programmes and funds of the European Union“, said Jadranka Joksimović, Minister of European Integration.

In addition, financing of nine projects for the improvement of business infrastructure that will include infrastructural equipping of industrial zones and improvement of tourist infrastructure was approved at the meeting. For these projects, which should contribute to creating a favourable business environment for economic growth and job creation, the European Union has provided EUR 4.5 million, while the participation of local self-governments amounts to EUR 905,392.

“Through the EU PRO Programme, the European Union supports the balanced development of Serbia, thus investing in projects that are equally focused on the economic progress of the community and a better living standard for every citizen. Therefore, the supported projects have the primary goal of attracting investments and opening new jobs, but also provide the improvement of public infrastructure that directly and positively affects a better quality of life for the local population”, said the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi.

As an additional support to the efforts of local self-governments to improve investment potentials, the European Union, in direct cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, provided EUR 274.695 for the development of project-technical documentation for business infrastructure. Therefore, technical preconditions for infrastructural equipping of industrial zones, development of technology parks, business incubators or congress centres will be provided through 12 approved projects. 

With the same objective, the European Union will support the development of detailed regulation plans with EUR 255,274 in 19 cities and municipalities involved in the implementation of the EU PRO Programme. These planning documents include areas with potential for the promotion of economic activities, such as greenfield and brownfield locations, tourist areas and protected natural and cultural assets.

“We have a large number of projects ahead of us, and therefore we encourage local self-governments to focus on the implementation of approved projects, but also engage in preparing new quality project proposals that comply with the needs of the population and the development priorities”, said Graeme Tyndall, EU PRO Programme Manager.

The Steering Committee of the EU PRO Programme has also agreed with the criteria for a public call for the development and improvement of Geographic Information Systems, as well as with a call for support to civil society organization projects that should contribute to the promotion of social cohesion in multiethnic municipalities and cities in the regions of Šumadija and Western Serbia and Southern and Eastern Serbia. These two new calls will be announced in October 2018.

The European Union supports the activities of the EU PRO, a programme that contributes to a more balanced socio-economic development of Serbia, with a total of EUR 25 million. The Programme aims to contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises, improving business environment and improving social cohesion in 99 local self-government units, in two regions: the region of Šumadija and Western Serbia and the region of South and Eastern Serbia. Field activities are carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).