Information News

J. Joksimović: EU is a partner to Serbia in the fight against the coronavirus, unity is crucial

March 20 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: EU is a partner to Serbia in the fight against the coronavirus, unity is crucial

“The European Union is a partner to Serbia in the fight against the pandemic of the coronavirus at a time when the largest EU countries are facing the same challenges,” Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said today, stressing the importance of solidarity and joint struggle of all European nations to overcome the crisis the entire world is facing, with as few consequences as possible.

At the press conference following the signing of an agreement on a EUR 7.5 million grant to Serbia from the EU, Joksimović has said that the European Union has formed supplies of medical equipment worth EUR 50 million for countries facing the coronavirus pandemic, which will, as she has stressed, also be available to Serbia.

"Fortunately, we have worked responsibly, so Serbia became a full member of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in 2014; hence, this assistance is available to both the EU Member States and to our country," Joksimović has said.

She has stressed that the health of people is now in focus, but that, once the pandemic has passed, the key topic will be the economic recovery of countries, and has expressed her belief that Serbia will receive the most assistance from the EU, as was the case following the floods in 2014 and at the time of the migrant crisis.

She has said that, in this regard, the EU has decided that the Solidarity Fund, whose funds in the amount of EUR 60 million were only used by Serbia in 2014 for remedying the economic impact of the floods, should now be available to all countries, noting that all costs arising from the fight against the coronavirus pandemic must be recorded in a timely manner.

"We are now working on listing all the costs so that, once the funds are available, we can react promptly," Joksimović has said.

She has thanked EU Ambassador to Serbia Sem Fabrizi and Serbia's European partners for helping Serbia, and has added that Serbia will continue to cooperate with the EU and jointly look for possible ways to respond to the crisis.

"I expect that, as a country that is a close partner of the EU and as an acceding country, we will be able to open additional European funds," the Minister has said.

She has stressed that any assistance is significant at this moment, and has expressed her gratitude to Norway for its donation of EUR 5 million for Serbia's activities in the fight against the coronavirus.

"We, as the Ministry, have worked with the Norwegian Embassy on how to reallocate the funds they allocated to certain projects, and we have succeeded in that," Joksimović has said.
She had appealed to citizens to be responsible, disciplined and to respect the advice and recommendations of experts, and has thanked the doctors, medical staff, as well as members of the police and military, teachers and tutors, employees performing utility services and all those who perform their job as professionally and responsibly as possible under these difficult circumstances.

"They inspire confidence in our citizens that we can count on the highest level of professionalism and commitment of all who are part of the system," Joksimović has concluded.

Source: Tanjug