Municipalities and cities are the main drivers of change in the European integration process

05. July 2017. |

Municipalities and cities are the main drivers of change in the European integration process

Minister of European Integration in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Jadranka Joksimovic, said today that, from 2016 to 2020, Serbia can expect EUR 1 billion in grants from the European Union for the reform process.

At the "Support to Local Self-Governments in Serbia on the Road to the EU" meeting, Joksimovic stressed that not only high political issues are important for European integration, but also concrete programmes, contribution to development, support to innovations and preparation for a better future of Serbia in the EU.

At the same time, she stressed that the European Union remains, despite all problems, the best place to live.

Joksimovic indicated that municipalities and cities will be the main drivers of change, pointing out that 60 to 70 percent of regulations for reaching the European standards refer to local self-governments.

According to her, the Republic of Serbia uses its candidate status in a good way, which is a good stage to be utilized to improve standards, for internal development and state modernization.

It is important that we use all the advantages of the candidate status in order to be prepared when the membership comes, said Joksimovic, adding that using this period leading up to our ultimate goal in the best way possible is more important than the membership itself.

She noted that some countries became part of the European family without being fully prepared, so they could not even feel all the benefits of the membership, and added that local self-governments can help in the reforms that are set before us.

Joksimovic recalled that, with the opening of chapters, and we have already opened ten of them, we are showing that we have, to some extent, achieved standards in a certain area.

Reforms, progress and the development of society are key words, she said, announcing that the Ministry of European Integration will deal with the development and use of funds, with Serbia having EUR 200 million available from the IPA funds annually.

In terms of other funds, she listed programmes such as Horizon 2020, Competitiveness Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises, Employment and Social Innovation Programme, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens, European Health Programme, Customs Programme 2020 and others.

Among the priorities, Joksimovic highlighted the adoption of the Development Strategy, adding that the ministry headed by her is absolutely ready to engage in the drafting of this document.

She also expressed her hope that, by the end of the year, our country will open several more chapters in the negotiations with the EU, and she specified that Serbia is ready to open Chapter 6 (Company law), Chapter 33 (Financial and budgetary provisions) and Chapter 30 (External relations).

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Četvorominutna animacija koja na popularan način predstavlja složen proces pregovora za članstvo u EU.