Demostat: Serbian authorities fail to acknowledge benefits of received EU aid

The European Union is the largest donor in Serbia. In the past ten years, the EU has given 4 billion euros in grants for over 1,500 projects implemented throughout Serbia, while offering more than 7 billion euros in soft loans.

Over the past 15 years, the EU has supported the construction and reconstruction of more than 1,500 kilometres of motorways and railroads in Serbia through EU grants and loans from the European Investment Bank, while since 2014, it has provided support to agriculture and rural development in the amount of more than 230 million euros and more of 400 million euros invested in environmental protection, according to Demostat.

One of the key infrastructure projects is the modernization and reconstruction of the Belgrade-Niš-Preševo railroad, which is financed by EU grants, as well as favourable loans from the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

When it comes to the energy sector, the EU has granted Serbia over 1 billion euros since 2000.

In 2022 alone, the EU’s support to the energy sector is estimated at 100 million euros and the main goals are diversification of energy sources, security of supply, energy efficiency and decarbonization of the economy.

Public opinion surveys for years have been showing that people in Serbia still believe that the help of other external stakeholders, such as China and Russia, is much greater than it really is, while the funds from the European Union are underestimated.

As the Demostat survey showed, every third respondent believed that the EU gave the highest amount of grants to Serbia. However, a quarter of the respondents still believe that Russia helped the most and a fifth that China is a significant donor of such aid.

For years, the current government has been engaged in double-dealing when it comes to EU accession, declaratively calling the EU accession the main foreign policy goal, while at the same time, sending anti-European messages to citizens and glorifying cooperation with Russia and China, Demostat reports.

The government practically hides from people in Serbia the concrete effects of European aid and cooperation with the EU whenever it can, Demostat concluded.

(N1, 07.04.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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