Belgrade, 18. January 2022 – Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia Emanuele Giaufret presented today a new initiative worth 8 million euros, to encourage "green" transformation of the economy and society.
Ambassador Giaufret noted that Serbia adopted the Green Agenda Declaration in October 2020 at the Conference in Sofia and has committed to implement its actions through the Regional Action Plan adopted in Brdo in October 2021. The Project "EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia – Get Started, Take Action, Scale Up“ will support Serbia to implement the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. Giaufret stressed:“This new project comes timely, a few weeks after EU Member States confirmed the opening of the EU negotiation cluster which among other topics deals with energy issues and the protection of the environment. This brings us a good drive to scale up actions on all fronts and to do our best to establish the iplementation of EU environmental legislation in Serbia“
This new 2-year EU and UNDP’s initiative is being implemented in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). „We will help Serbia improve strategies and policies, take concrete actions and increase investments for green transformation, especially in the areas of decarbonisation (reduction of dependence on fossil fuels), reduction of air-, water- and land pollution, circular economy, agriculture and food production, as well as biodiversity protection. This is great news and I am happy to be able to show our real commitment and engagement", added Giaufret.
During this project we will support at least 23 most innovative and impactful green investments, said Francine Pickup, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Serbia, noting „To kick-start the green transition in Serbia we all need to engage, not just the national and local authorities, but also public and private companies, banks, civil society organizations, scientific and research institutions and citizens alike. UNDP will publish 8 Calls for innovative solutions in all the areas covered by the Green Agenda. We are inviting all who wish to contribute to a positive change and help Serbia to become more competitive, have a cleaner and healthier environment for present and future generations – to apply to our Calls, which will start as early as end February.
The new initiative will help Serbia to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and support the alignment of Serbia’s regulatory framework with the EU acquis in all the five areas of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans (more detailed info on Project’s expected results per each area – in the Annex).
“Sweden has a long term commitment to support Serbia´s EU path“, stated Annika Ben David, Ambassador of Sweden to Serbia. „As an EU member state and the lead donor in the field of environment and climate we are happy to join this initiative. The EU for Green Agenda in Serbia will contribute to 1) set high environmental standards to improve environment and quality of life, 2) boost business investments and innovation, bringing EU experiences and expertise, 3) create an inclusive dialogue and broad participation of different parts of society on concrete solutions to improve water, waste management and air quality”, added Ambassador Ben David.
Head of EIB’s Regional Representation for Balkans Alessandro Bragonzi said that sustainable development and ambitious climate targets can only be achieved through combined financial and technical expertise support. „This project symbolizes a new type of partnership, essential for making the economic and green transition possible. Thanks to a significant financial contribution from the European Commission, and jointly with key international and EU Member States partners, and the EIB, as the EU Bank, is proud to help Serbia move forward with its sustainability goals and the Green Agenda by delivering much-needed tailor-made support to financial institutions, for their small and medium sized clients, to take the projects off the ground and make them both bankable and impactful. We are glad that our support will be mostly provided to small and medium companies, which are a key driver of development and innovation. Their green transformation, along with larger scale investments in renewable sources and energy efficiency, can pave the way to green and inclusive growth“, highlighted Bragonzi.