The European Union will increase the amount planned for financing the candidate countries for almost ten percent in the next seven years, the bloc’s leaders agreed on the pandemic recovery plan and seven-year budget after marathon talks.
The meeting during which 27 EU leaders agreed on the amount ended at 5 a.m., after almost five days of negotiations.
The Western Balkans countries will have access to those 12.5 billion euro through the pre-accession funds.
“Those are not the only funds Serbia and the Western Balkans could count on. There are the European funds for sustainable development, as well as the EU Recovery Fund with ten billion Euro in grants available to the region,” Marina Maksimovic, a Deutsche Welle correspondent from Brussels, said.
“Serbia is considered the largest economy in the Western Balkans in terms of size and an important part of the funds will be directed to it,” Sem Fabrizi, the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, told Radio and Television of Serbia.
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He recalled that 67% of Serbia’s external trade is done with the EU and that the majority of foreign investments in Serbia come from the EU. “The sooner the EU economy recovers, the better it will be for Serbia,” said Fabrizi.
He added that the EU budget is oriented towards a digital agenda and green economy, which will also be reflected in Serbia.
Asked whether Serbia can expect additional support from the EU on top of the 93 million euro allocated for the fight against COVID-19, Fabrizi said that 15 million euro had already been spent on emergency medical care and that an agreement on financing the employment of health workers had been signed, as well as that the EU was open to new demands from the Serbian government.
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