Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Emanuele Giaufret said on Nov. 10 that the six billion euros that the European Union had provided for the Western Balkans as part of the EU Growth Plan would be paid out only when the states of the regions implemented the necessary reforms.
“The six billion euros include two million in grants, and four million in loans for the next four years. The idea is that funding will only be approved upon the completion of a set of reforms,” Giaufret said during a presentation of the European Commission’s 2023 Report on Serbia and the EU Growth Plan for the Western Balkans hosted by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.
The EU ambassador said a reform agenda would be provided for each state of the region, including competitiveness, and improving the business setting, energy and green transition. “Once the reforms are implemented, the money will be paid into the budget of a state, and a part of it into the investment framework of the Western Balkans for new infrastructure projects,” Giaufret explained.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia underlined that the level of assistance to be achieved with the additional six billion for the Western Balkans was close to the intensity of assistance the EU member states received through various EU funds. Giaufret also explained that the idea behind the EU Growth Plan for the Western Balkans was to integrate the region into the Union’s unified market before the individual candidate states joined the EU.