Information News

J. Joksimović: EU IPA funds improve citizens’ quality of life

July 15 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: EU IPA funds improve citizens’ quality of life

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has assessed today that the use of EU pre-accession funds is important for Serbia’s European integration, given that the money Serbia uses from those funds is invested into concrete projects that improve citizens’ quality of life.

At the Conference on the results and possibilities of IPA funds in Serbia ‘Serbia and the EU: Support to the development and membership negotiations’ organised by the Ministry of European Integration, Joksimović has stressed that IPA 3 pre-accession fund for the period 2021–2027 is aimed at narrowing the gap between the countries of the Western Balkan region that should at some point become part of the EU.

Emphasising the fact that 42.4% of the total funds allocated for IPA 3 is directed towards the Green Agenda and sustainable connectivity, and that today’s conference is about the use of funds in cluster 4 that covers the Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity, Joksimović has stressed the importance of that topic for the entire society.

According to her, the Ministry of European Integration, the Team for Support to Negotiations and the Coordination for Conducting Negotiations have been restructured in line with the new methodology.

Joksimović has specified that she restructured the Ministry by introducing a new fifth department responsible for coordinating and monitoring the alignment of national reforms with the goals of the Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity that will largely be implemented through the use of IPA 3 funds.

“We are certainly not falling behind and we will keep up with the highest EU policies of today, which definitely include the rule of law, as well as the Green Deal, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity”, said the Minister.

She has stated that the participation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi at today’s conference is crucial as it shows that Serbia has applied the new methodology in practice as well.

She has explained that this is because political steering of the process and raising the process to the highest level is one of the requirements of the new methodology.

She has further said that Vučić’s and Várhelyi’s participation shows that pre-accession funds are a vital component.

“They represent a vital component because we are conducting European integration largely through political coordination, but also through the use of funds available to us, and those are IPA funds”, stated Joksimović.

In that sense, she has recalled concrete projects realised through IPA 2, such as projects in the area of energy and environment.

“This is not money that went into invisible projects, this is something every Serbian citizens feels in any place, whether it is the extension of the sewerage network, local roads, waste water treatment plant or broadband internet. Those are the things that matter on a daily basis for the quality of life of our citizens and achieving the goals of sustainable development through the implementation of the Green Agenda, European integration and the use of pre-accession funds”, said Joksimović.

According to her, the messages conveyed today by President Vučić and Commissioner Várhelyi are encouraging.

“This raises visibility, because when both the President and the EU Commissioner are there to tell us that they are following and watching what we are doing in this segment, it additionally obliges us to be both efficient and transparent in this regard and to work together on this”, stated Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug