Today in Brussels at the Intergovernmental Conference with the European Union, Serbia opened Chapter 9 – Financial Services and signed the IPA Financial Instrument for 2018 worth €179.1 million.
The agreement was signed by Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović and European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy Johannes Hahn. These are the EU grants intended to support Serbia on the path of European integration.
The IPA programme for 2018 envisages support to projects in the field of environmental protection, innovation, development of tourism infrastructure, as well as support to vulnerable categories of citizens through sustainable solutions for housing and employment.
The programme also envisages interventions in the field of statistics, the process of European integration and harmonisation with EU standards.
Joksimović, who leads the delegation of Serbia at the 10th Intergovernmental Conference, pointed out that Serbia can be satisfied with the opening of one more, 17th in row chapter in negotiations on EU membership, although it expected that two would be opened, but that even that is satisfactory bearing in mind the unfavourable events in the region.
She stressed that the opening of Chapter 9 means ensuring the security of the financial system.
Hahn pointed to the importance of opening this chapter, as this shows that Serbia has achieved not so easy success in macroeconomic stabilisation and economic development.
He stressed that it is important to eliminate the danger to investors and citizens, pointing to the need for Serbia to advance in strengthening the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and the democratic exercise of power.
Romanian Minister of European Affairs George Ciamba emphasized that the pace of joining EU membership will depend on reforms in the chapters of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.