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Fabrizi: IPA funds for faster integration in EU

July 15 2021 | Belgrade

Fabrizi: IPA funds for faster integration in EU

IPA funds serve to help Serbia achieve certain reforms and goals, and to become an EU member sooner rather than later, as stated today by Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi.

Speaking 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, Fabrizi has recalled that Serbia received EUR 1.5 billion in grants from IPA 2 in the previous seven years, adding that EUR 14 billion in grants has been allocated for the Western Balkan region through IPA 3 for the period 2021–2027.

“IPA funds are an important and powerful tool that provides the best type of financial support to Serbia and other countries in the region that are in the accession process”, said Fabrizi.

According to him, in terms of IPA 2, the EU particularly focused on two areas in Serbia – the rule of law and economic development.

Out of the total amount, 40% went into the rule of law area, said Fabrizi, adding that the Union helps Serbia reconstruct and build new court buildings, finances training courses for judges and prosecutors, and provides various possibilities for civil societies, minorities and media for the purpose of creating a pluralistic society.

“We cooperate with the Government and institutions on accelerating the processes in this area. We do things the right way”, said Fabrizi.

As regards economic development, Fabrizi has stated that 40% of the total funds was also allocated for this area, stressing that economy today is not only reflected in the GDP, but also in sustainability, inclusion, Green Agenda etc.

“It is obvious that Serbia is economically growing, it has proven resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the sense that the foundations of economy in Serbia are strong”, stressed Fabrizi, adding that economy should continue to be strengthened perhaps through innovation.

In that sense, he has stated that Serbia has allocated a lot of its resources for innovation and that the EU helped it establish the Innovation Fund.

In addition, Fabrizi has said that Serbia has engaged in a number of European projects that help Serbia have a healthy and resilient economy and to be able to get involved in new sources of development such as green economy.

From IPA 2, 20% of the total funds were allocated for emergency situations, where Serbia received EUR 89 million in 2015 for flood relief, EUR 100 million for dealing with the migrant crisis, and EUR 67 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As regards IPA 3, Fabrizi has said that the focus is on the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

“This is an ambitious project, and EUR 14 billion in grants will be allocated for the entire region, which should attract at least that many favourable funds of domestic and foreign investors in the following period. The idea is for the region to get closer to the Union and to overcome the economic gap between the Union and the Western Balkans”, conveyed Fabrizi.

Source: Tanjug