The EU has set aside EUR 70 million in grants from the first part of the IPA program for 2020, and the agreement was signed on Friday, May 29, in Belgrade, in the presence of president Vucic.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of European Integration and the National IPA Coordinator, Jadranka Joksimovic, and the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, and the signing ceremony was followed through a video-link by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi.
The first part of the IPA program for 2020 focuses on local development, competitiveness and employment.
For competitiveness, agriculture, innovation and rural development, along with the grants, EUR 30 million is directed at up to 450 micro companies, startups and organizations for business support in less developed regions of Serbia.
Special focus is placed on the strengthening of capacities for supervision and reaction to infectious diseases, following the coronavirus pandemic, for which purpose, along with employment, education and social protection of the most vulnerable groups, EUR 25 million is set aside.
The remaining EUR 15 million is intended as support to Serbia in the process of accession to the EU, specifically, as support to institutions in successfully carrying out the process of European integration.
The institutions are expected to be able to harmonize the local regulations with those in the EU in the sectors of transport, energy, healthcare and agriculture and to finish the accession negotiations in their fields.
Also, the operating system for the management of gas distribution and the ability of that system to supervise and run the infrastructure for gas distribution are expected to improve. Another expectation is for the conditions for joining the Customs Union to be met.
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