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Serbia’s budget receives EUR 22.86 million for achievements in integrated border management

February 10 2021 | Belgrade

Serbia’s budget receives EUR 22.86 million for achievements in integrated border management

Geographically, Serbia is located at the so-called Balkan route that criminals use to smuggle people, drugs, arms, and dangerous chemical and biological substances across borders, which poses a risk for Serbian and European security.

To support the fight against these threats and make borders more secure and open for the free movement of people and goods, the European Union and Serbia joined forces in a long-term partnership.

The EU-financed Sector Budget Support, as a special multi-annual financial programme, has provided a EUR 28 million donation to Serbia through the Sector Reform Contract for Integrated Border Management.

In this way, the EU supports Serbia’s capacities for a more efficient control of its border, national security protection, fight against organised crime and illegal migration, while ensuring smooth border crossing for legal passengers, goods and services.

The Sector Reform Contract for Integrated Border Management contributes to the alignment of domestic laws and regulations with the EU Acquis, primarily to their application. In this way, related recommendations from Chapter 24 are fulfilled, including more efficient detection and prevention of all types of cross-border crime and better management of migration flows.

“I am very pleased to see Serbia making progress in integrated border management, for which the EU is donating EUR 22.86 million. We have just approved the third tranche of this support package”, stated the Head of EU Delegation to Serbia.

Ambassador Sem Fabrizi has added that the alignment of domestic border management protocols with EU protocols implies easier transport of goods, which benefits the economy and competitiveness of Serbia and the region. “Passengers, tourists and business people who travel to or from Serbia, spend less time at the border. This benefits the economy and citizens, owing to the significant progress that has been achieved through the Sector Reform Contract”, concluded Fabrizi.

“Precisely with the aim of ensuring a faster movement of people and goods across our border, grants have been allocated within the 2016 IPA Programme, which helped improve cooperation between border services and their capacities. In this way, we have managed to make the Serbian border open for free movement, and, at the same time, protect it from illegal activities. Thus we have significantly upgraded the security of Serbia, as well as our region and Europe as a whole. We can be particularly satisfied with the fact that the EU funds allocated for these purposes have been entirely used, all to the benefit of the citizens and economy”, stated Jadranka Joksimović, the Minister of European Integration.

Owing to modernised infrastructure, equipment, border surveillance and numerous training courses, the Sector Reform Contract has improved the efficiency and the quality of work of the Border Police Directorate and other border services in managing the movements of people and goods across the border and combating illegal migration.

An important achievement in the realisation of this Contract is the intensified exchange of information between border services of neighbouring countries and within them, greater number of joint activities of these services and better international cooperation.