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Nicolas Marquier, Regional Manager for the Western Balkans at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Financing the Future

IFC, the largest global development institution, has provided almost $1 billion in financing to Serbia’s private sector over the past six years IFC, as a...

Dr Ivan Todorović, Todorović Law Firm

Dedicated Advisors and Tenacious Litigators

The Todorović Law Firm has existed for more than 30 years and throughout that time has demonstrated its unwavering dedication to continuously advancing at...

Marija Stojiljković, Founder, Royal Nanny

Children Deserve the Best Nannies

Royal Nanny offers a wide range of childcare services, primarily through mediating between professional nannies and families, providing responsible, meticulous, trained and caring individuals Starting...

Petar Miljković, CEO, 14. Oktobar d.o.o.

Employees are the Company’s Real Strength

This former Kruševac giant, which has come a long way over the course of 100 years of operations, developing from a construction machinery factory...

Ivana Bogdanović, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Addiko Bank

CSR as a Longstanding Priority

In today’s world, where gaining the trust of clients is the most important aspect of a company’s business, CSR, or socially responsible operations, represents...

Milojko Arsić, Professor at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics

Capacities Exist, But So Do Unknowns

Despite Serbia’s administrative capacities being smaller compared to the countries of Western and Central Europe, it is ahead of the other Western Balkan countries in this respect and could attract more funds than others

Within the framework of the EU’s growth plan for the countries of the Western Balkans over a four-year period, there has been a clear defining of the objectives that they want to achieve through the use of the noted funds. The first objective is to remove obstacles and reduce the costs of the movement of goods, people and capital between the countries of the Western Balkans and the EU. The second objective is to remove the aforementioned obstacles and costs, or at least reduce them significantly, when it comes to economic cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans.

The third objective is to conduct reforms within the countries of the Western Balkans that would serve to establish an economic and administrative system similar to that of the countries of the EU. Funds made available within the scope of this plan are neither intended to finance major infrastructure projects nor to finance projects like EXPO 27. These funds total six billion euros, which means that Serbia, in accordance with its population, can count on receiving approximately 2.5 billion euros over the next four years, or slightly more than 600 million euros annually.

It is unrealistic to expect that a country that has poor relations with the EU will have intensive cooperation within the framework of this plan

These funds are thus not sufficient to finance large infrastructure projects. Other EU institutions exist for financing infrastructure projects, such as the European Investment Bank, but also other banks in which the EU plays a key role, such as the EBRD or the Council of Europe Development Bank. Since the year 2000, these banks have approved significant loans under favourable conditions for the implementation of large projects in Serbia, and this will likely continue in the future, despite Serbia’s resistance when it comes to complying with the procedures required by these banks.

Access to funds for achieving the first and third objectives will depend on the individual capacities of each country. Countries that have a higher administrative capacity have a chance to withdraw more funds. Despite Serbia’s administrative capacities being smaller compared to the countries of Western and Central Europe, it is ahead of the other Western Balkan countries in this respect. Of course, the ability to withdraw funds will also depend on each individual country’s political relations with the EU, and here it is unrealistic to expect that a country that has poor relations with the EU will have intensive cooperation within the framework of this plan. The countries that are closer to achieving EU accession are likely to be more successful in withdrawing funds. When it comes to utilising funds to improve cooperation between the countries of the region, withdrawing funds will depend on the joint readiness of all countries included in the plan.

Comment by Zoran Panović

Diplomatic Twine

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Branka Anđelković, Co-founder and Programme Director of the Public Policy Research Centre

An Even Bigger Grey Market?

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Čedanka Andrić, President of Trade Union Confederation NEZAVISNOST

Increased Competition Between Low-Paid Workers

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Jelena Jevtović, Serbian Association of Employers

Employers Will More Quickly Find Workers

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Milšped Group Launches Direct Rail Line Between China and Serbia

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French Embassy and Institute in Serbia Launch ‘Rhythm of French Culture’ Event Series

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Albania to Utilize Drones in Anti-Cannabis Campaign

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Serbian Red Cross Launches Pioneering Migration Platform

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Ghana to Open Embassy in Belgrade

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Maserati’s Balkan Expansion: New Showroom Opens in Belgrade

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Peter Pellegrini Wins Slovak Presidential Election

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Maserati’s Balkan Expansion: New Showroom Opens in Belgrade

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Peter Pellegrini Wins Slovak Presidential Election

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Strategic Energy Partnership Established Between Serbia and France

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Serbia-France Innovation Forum Begins: Innovate for the Planet! Play Green!

At the Serbia-France Innovation Forum titled 'Innovate for the Planet, Play Green', which commenced at the Palace Serbia, French...

EU and EP Finalise €6 Billion Support for Western Balkans

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