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J. Joksimović: USA is showing strong support to our European path

May 22 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: USA is showing strong support to our European path

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has assessed today that the signing of the amendment through which the USAID and the United States of America have allocated additional USD 20.3 million in grants to Serbia represents the continuation of cooperation with one of Serbia’s most important development partners (USA) and a strong US support to Serbia’s European path.

Joksimović has signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Assistance Agreement between Serbia and the USA, intended for better functioning of public administration, and the Fifteenth Amendment to the Assistance Agreement between Serbia and the USA, intended for strengthening the competitiveness of domestic economy. At the press conference organised on this occasion, Joksimović has said that, including these USD 20.3 million, the Agreements signed in the past 10 years have provided support to said sectors worth USD 145 million in grants.“These USD 20.3 million are an addition to the Agreements from 2010, which have so far provided USD 145 million in grants directed to two levels,” said Joksimović.

The Minister has specified that the grants are intended for the strengthening of public administration, judiciary reform, fight against corruption, media environment and other key elements of the rule of law.

On the other hand, according to Joksimović, the grants are intended for economic local development, which will be significant for Serbia’s economic recovery in the post-pandemic period, strengthening of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, women entrepreneurship, competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in fruit and vegetable production, and for strengthening the competitiveness at the international market and export potential.

“These are concrete projects that are implemented transparently through open calls for proposals and that are verifiable, therefore, this is not money that goes into invisible reforms but money that Serbian citizens, as well as the Serbian economy, directly benefit from,” stated Joksimović.

According to her, Serbia will continue to cooperate with the USAID, which is very active in Serbia and which participates in both government and civil programmes.“This cooperation will be significant both for our European path and our reform process, as well as for strengthening our bilateral relations,” stressed Joksimović.

The Minister has said that Ambassador Godfrey has, since the beginning of his term in Serbia, expressed personal wish and willingness to work on improving and strengthening the relations between the two countries and on keeping the dialogue open while constantly improving it.

She believes that it is crucial for Serbia to have the best possible relations with the USA.“This is important for us, and I believe that all of us together should work on it, while this is also proof that the USA actively and strongly supports Serbia on our European path, which is not easy, which has its difficulties that we face not only with regard to necessary reforms, which are complex and demanding, but also with regard to the situation in the EU,” stated the Minister.

She further believes that, in addition to reform requirements, Serbia has successfully responded to the coronavirus pandemic and that it has quite efficiently faced the issue that entire Europe has found difficult to face, as well as the USA that is still fighting to resolve issues related to COVID-19.

Source: Tanjug