EU to Grant Serbia EUR 178.7 M to Assist Key ReformsWorld | December 23, 2013, Monday // 18:00| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
The European Commission has adopted the 2013 national program for Serbia worth EUR 178.7 M under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
The program will help Serbia implement reforms in key areas such as rule of law, public administration, social inclusion, private sector development, transport, environment, energy and agriculture, according to a media statement of the EC.
According to the EC, these reforms are crucial elements of the country's European integration process and will directly improve the daily lives of Serbian citizens.
With today's agreement, the EU's pre-accession assistance for Serbia since 2001 has reached EUR 2.6 B.
"This was a historic year for Serbia's relations with the EU, with the decision to open accession negotiations and the entry into force of the Stabilization and Association Agreement. It is important that Serbia now uses this momentum and continues to vigorously implement key reforms. The EU's pre-accession funds, now totaling EUR 2.6 B since 2001, will help implement these reforms, bringing concrete benefits for Serbian citizens", said Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele.
On top of the national IPA program adopted on Monday, EU funds for Serbia will also be available through the Civil Society Facility (EUR 2.5 M), TEMPUS program (EUR 4 M), and funds for refugees under the Regional Housing Program (EUR 12 M), according to the EC.
On December 20, European Council President Herman van Rompuy officially confirmed that accession negotiations with Serbia would start on January 21.
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