J. Joksimović: EU approved EUR 223.7 million to Serbia for seven projects

August 05 2022 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: EU approved EUR 223.7 million to Serbia for seven projects

Minister of European Integration and National IPA Coordinator Jadranka Joksimović has said today that the European Union has approved grants in the amount of EUR 223.615 million to the Republic of Serbia to be invested in seven projects, three in transport sector, two in energy sector and one in digital and social infrastructure each.  These funds, as mentioned in the Ministry press release, have been approved within the sixth call for proposals of the EU Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), where the total estimated investment value of the approved infrastructure projects is EUR 885.413 million.

“All these projects are shaped to contribute to the growth of investments in Serbia and deepen the total trade and economic cooperation between Serbia and the region of the so-called Western Balkans and the European Union”, Minister Joksimović has said and emphasised that the comprehensive nature of approved measures and projects clearly indicates that their most important goal is precisely the equal regional development of our country, creation of jobs throughout Serbia, improving health care, and realising goals of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans which our country has undertook along with the European Union. 

“Serbia’s accession to the European Union does not mean only meeting benchmarks from negotiation clusters and aligning with the EU legislation, but it primarily aims to improve the living circumstances of all our citizens, which is a priority of the entire administration of the Republic of Serbia”, emphasised the Minister.

The projects in the sector of transport, in total value of EUR 135,740,290 million, include rail and waterborne transport and they are directed to modernisation of railway line Niš - Dimitrovgrad - Bulgarian border, also reconstruction and modernisation of the existing tracks and construction of second track in section Stalać - Djunis which is a part of the Belgrade– Niš railway, as well as ensuring the navigation on the Danube through the project of removing sunken German war fleet from the World War II - sector Prahovo.

In the energy sector, the approved amount of EUR 17,038,367 of the EU grants will be used for the construction of Trans-Balkan Corridor of double circuit interconnection between Serbia, Montenegro and BiH, but also for the development of electricity distribution grid by introducing advanced remote meter reading system and control of energy usage (system of “smart” reading for the energy usage).

In the social infrastructure sector, notably in the health sector, grants for the construction of the new building of the University Children’s Hospital Tiršova 2 in the amount of EUR 36,428,571 have been approved. That will profoundly modernise the internal organisation of this facility of utmost importance for the youngest population and significantly improve the conditions for controlling contagious diseases, provide better accommodation for children in treatment and their families.

In the digital infrastructure sector, the project of Rural broadband internet has been approved, in the amount of EUR 34,408,163 of the EU grants, that will be implemented in two phases to ensure the introduction of “fast” internet in rural areas for approximately 700 settlements, i.e. their households and more than 1500 local public facilities, including schools.

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) as a part of the Regional instrument for the pre-accession assistance (multi-beneficiary IPA) represents a special type of support of the European Union and international financial institutions for preparation and realisation of infrastructural projects that are coordinated, on behalf of the Republic of Serbia, by Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović in the capacity of National IPA Coordinator.

WBIF is one of the main instruments for realisation of priority infrastructural projects in implementation of the Economic-investment plan for the Western Balkans (EIP). The stated plan envisages EU investments in the amount of 9 billion euros in grants for priority areas and projects contributing to further connecting of the region, and improving ties with the European Union to accelerate free movement of people, goods, capital and services.