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J. Joksimović: We have been implementing sustainable development goals since 2016

April 26 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: We have been implementing sustainable development goals since 2016

On 1 January 2016, Serbia started implementing sustainable development goals through the EU accession process, as stated by Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, who has said that Serbia uses IPA funds and the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans as additional financial instruments, among other things, for implementing the goals of the Green Deal.

“To say that Serbia has done nothing and that a sustainable development strategy is necessary is to turn the clock back, because sustainable development goals have been implemented since 1 January 2016, and we have been implementing them through the accession process”, said Joksimović during a dialogue with members of the National Convention on the European Union on the topic of sustainable development with a focus on environmental protection and energy.

She has stated that, in addition to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, there is the National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis which defines all reform steps in all areas that also coincide with the sustainable development goals and the 2030 Agenda, which must be implemented through the European integration process.

Joksimović has noted that the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans is an additional financial structure for what Serbia, having signed the Sofia Declaration, has introduced as its part of obligations to achieve the goals of the Green Agenda, at the level of the goals of the Green Deal.

According to her, the Western Balkans is additionally committed to the agendas for the green and digital transformation within the Berlin Process, while the key point of all these efforts is the instrument for pre-accession assistance IPA 3, which is specific to each country for the financial period 2021–2027.

She has further said that the negotiation structures have been restructured within the Ministry, and that now there is a new department for monitoring and coordinating national reforms in terms of alignment with the goals of the Green Deal and digitalisation, and sustainable connectivity, within cluster 4.

She has added that cluster 5 – resources, cohesion and agriculture, as well as resource mapping, is now intersectorally defined, as required by the sustainable development goals with the EU political framework.

She has stressed that investment into the area of infrastructure is particularly related to these topics and that achievement of the goals of sustainable development is also a matter of mapping green investments.

Joksimović has said that the 2030 UN Agenda has become part of the EU’s political framework and that the EU has placed sustainable development goals in the centre of policymaking in terms of internal and external activities in those sectors.

“The European Commission has developed the European Green Deal as the EU development strategy for the 21st century, which also includes the Western Balkans and which follows the new Economic and Investment Plan for the region that should facilitate its recovery towards achieving sustainable transformation”, said Joksimović.

Joksimović has stated that it would be good to wait and see how just transition would look not only for Western Balkan economies but also for the entire EU, which is facing large potential losses that should be compensated from the Just Transition Fund.

Source: Tanjug