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J. Joksimović: EUR 18 million from EU budget support for tackling COVID-19 effects

September 10 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: EUR 18 million from EU budget support for tackling COVID-19 effects

Minister of European Integration and National IPA Coordinator Jadranka Joksimović has signed today the Amendments to the Financial Agreement on EU budget support for the public administration reform, which has enabled unused funds in the amount of EUR 18 million to be allocated for overcoming the socio-economic effects of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In light of the challenges Serbia has been facing due the COVID-19 pandemic, Joksimović initiated discussions with the EU Delegation to Belgrade regarding the utilisation of the unused funds within the implementation of the Sector Budget Support Programme in the area of the public administration reform. 

The intention was to enable a part of these funds to be used for tackling the socio-economic effects of the health crisis.

Joksimović has stated that, in March, she submitted a request to EU Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi asking for the reallocation of the unused IPA funds for the purpose of facing the health crisis and tackling the negative socio-economic effects of the pandemic.

According to the press release, Joksimović has emphasised that this Agreement has secured EUR 18 million of direct EU assistance. 

The Minister has added that the sector budget support is one of the most suitable models of implementing support, given that it implies a direct transfer of grants into Serbia’s budget, which the Government will manage according to the current needs and measures envisaged for the socio-economic recovery of the country.

Joksimović has added that these funds are expected to be paid in 2021.

The Minister has underlined that this support is only one portion of the assistance the EU has provided to Serbia in facing the challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and has thanked partners from the EU for their timely and extensive support.

She has added that the support is extremely significant for Serbia, considering the severity of the situation, the extent of challenges and the need for timely and appropriate responses to the crisis. 

“Having decided to support Serbia from this and other sources, the European Union has confirmed its solidarity and commitment to the socio-economic recovery of our country,” concluded Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug