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J. Joksimović: Development cooperation with France in strategic areas

May 12 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Development cooperation with France in strategic areas

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today that the development cooperation in all segments and strategic areas with France, which donated EUR 8.3 million for the preliminary design for the first phase of the Belgrade metro with the environmental impact assessment, unambiguously shows that this country recognises Serbia as one of the most important candidates for EU membership.

“We expect that France will continue assisting Serbia on its European path,” said Joksimović after signing a Donation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of France worth EUR 8.3 million, which is intended for the realisation and financing of the Belgrade metro project. Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, and Jean-Louis Falconi, the Ambassador of the Republic of France, are also the signatories of this Agreement. 

“This project is well-known to everyone in Belgrade, it has been long talked about, it has also been disputed at times, but this is what Belgrade needs the most for a sustainable transport infrastructure. These are projects that last long everywhere and that cannot be finished overnight. And that is why it is important for us to have France as a strategic partner,” said Joksimović who is the National IPA Coordinator and the Coordinator of Donor and Development Assistance.

She has emphasised that Serbia cooperates with France in numerous areas, including strategically important areas, which particularly proves how much France respects Serbia and how much it recognises the reforms Serbia has implemented.

“This is clearly seen in the fact that it is engaged and interested in investing and supporting such important, large and strategic infrastructure and other projects in Serbia.”

According to her, this would not be possible or manageable if Serbia had not undertaken serious and substantive reforms, which have not been only declarative and on paper, but which, instead, made Serbia a country with which many want to cooperate, in which many want to invest and which many want to help reach the level of development that is favourable for Serbian citizens as soon as possible.

“But also to approach the development level in EU countries in many areas,” stated the Minister.

She has added that the aforementioned EUR 8.3 million is a development grant, which should result in a preliminary design of the first metro line – the first phase, with the environmental impact assessment and study.

She has further said that this is very important, given that the Green Agenda and efforts to transform European economy into a circular economy are widely discussed in the EU, adding that Serbia is also seeking its place in the Green Agenda of Europe.

“We expect that the EU will provide significant funds intended for this part of environment-related projects,” said Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug