Agreement Signed Between EU and Serbia About Our Country’s Participation in EU Single Market Program

Source: eKapija Thursday, 21.09.2023. 15:26
The agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Serbia about the participation of Serbia in the EU Single Market Program was signed today at the Ministry of Finance. The document was signed by the deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Serbia, Sinisa Mali, and the director-general for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission, Kerstin Jorna. The signing ceremony was held through an online platform in line with the protocol on online ceremonies at a high level.

The finance minister pointed out that, by signing the agreement, the Republic of Serbia had joined another important program of the EU and emphasized that the country once again showed the dedication to taking part in the community’s programs, as a candidate country and a future member, thereby strengthening the competition and better preparing for the full integration in the internal market.

– By taking part in this program, domestic small and medium enterprises will get an opportunity to improve their competitiveness, internationalize their business and better prepare to respond to the challenges of the single market, through various instruments of support, and especially through the continuation of the work of the Enterprise Europe Network project in Serbia. The program also envisages special calls for the development of clusters, the tourism infrastructure and youth entrepreneurship – Mali said.

He also pointed out that he was convinced that Serbian companies would make good use of the possibilities offered by the Single Market Program and prepare to better respond to the upcoming challenges.

The signing of the agreement on the single market is a continuation of the long-term cooperation with the EU in the field of competitiveness, considering that Serbia has been taking part in the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programs since 2008.

In the previous program cycle, through the EU Program for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (2014-2020) – COSME, subjects from Serbia could apply for funds from the EU budget, on equal footing with organizations from the EU member states, and achieved significant results.

– Guarantee instruments are no longer part of the new program, although they were the backbone of the previous COSME program, but regardless of that, participation in the Single Market Program will have a positive impact on the further strengthening of the competitiveness of SMEs in Serbia. It is significant that it will contribute to the realization of the activities within the accession negotiations, especially in Chapter 20 – Enterprise and Industrial Policy, which is expected to close soon – Mali emphasized.

Joining the Single Market Program enables companies to take part in contests for the realization of projects which contribute to the competitiveness of small and medium companies. Legal and natural persons from Serbia will be equal with organizations from full EU member states when applying for EU budget funds which are provided through the Single Market Program.

A special importance of joining the Single Market Program is reflected in the continuation of the Enterprise Europe Network project, which is the biggest network which provides support to small and medium enterprises and helps them internationalize their operations and position themselves in the global market.

From the very beginning, Serbia has been involved in the operations of the Enterprise Europe Network, more precisely, since 2008. In the past 15 years, more than 18,500 local small and medium enterprises have used the services of the Enterprise Europe Network.

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