EU PRO Programme funded by the European Union and the Republic of Serbia
  • Republic of Serbia

Belgrade, 23 June 2021

EU contributed to better living conditions for the population in 99 local self-governments through the EU PRO programme

Creation of over 1,700 new jobs, contribution to attracting new investments worth 30 million Euros, as well as a better quality of life for more than 162,000 people who now have improved access to communal, health and social services, and education, are just some of the results during three years of work, the EU PRO development programme was realised in cooperation with 99 local self-governments with the financial support of the European Union (EU).

"Through the EU PRO programme, we managed to improve the business environment in local self-governments, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as the availability of cultural and other content, and thus led to one of the most important goals of European integration, which is to reduce territorial disbalances and migration from rural to urban areas." , said Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović.

"This is one of the most important programme that shows the synergy of goals and good results of the Government of Serbia and the European Union as the largest donor," said Minister Joksimović. Joksimović added that the EU PRO projects are a concrete support of the European Union, which also showed that all of us as a society, local self-governments, but also individuals, civil and private sector use the opportunities available but also to strengthen capacities.

"With this programme, we have moved from Belgrade and Corridor 10 and gone much further to 99 local self-governments, thus achieving  what is the goal of European integration," said the Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi. He underlined the already visible positive contribution of 341 projects that EU PRO implemented in the field of improving the competitiveness of enterprises, favorable business environment, infrastructure and social inclusion. Fabrizi stated that 203 enterprises supported through the programme created 582 jobs, of which almost half are women, while 95 projects implemented with local sečfgovernments contributed to the improvement of the local economy. One part of the EU PRO funds was redirected to the procurement of emergency medical and non-medical equipment needed in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

"EU PRO has achieved visible results and contributed to the social and economic development of Serbia by creating conditions for new investments and jobs, improving social infrastructure and inclusion, thus creating synergy and equal opportunities. In this way the mandate of UNOPS to help people build better lives was fulfilled," said Mikela Telatin, Director of the UNOPS Serbia Multi- Office, which implemented the EU PRO programme and which has been cooperating with the Ministry of European Integration and the Delegation of the European Union for more than a decade in the implementation of programmes aimed at local development.

During the event, Virtual project fair "In step with Europe" was opened, for all those interested to learn more about the EU development projects and best practices in their implementation. 

In addition the EU PRO announced the winners of the Media competition on the topic of EU support to local development, which was organised in partnership with the Ministry of European Integration and the Delegation of the European Union. According to the votes of the expert jury comprised of Radojka Nikolić, editor of Econometer and Business Magazine, Ljubica Gojgić, editor and host of the show Pravi ugao on RTV Vojvodina and Miša Stoiljković, editor and host of  the Radio Belgrade morning programme, and the contestants, in the Media portal category, Enes Radetinac, editor of the Novi Pazar portal A1 Net was awarded, while the award for the best TV report was given to two media outlets that won the same number of points from the expert jury and competitors - and journalist Aleksandar Niciforovic from  Radio Television Novi Pazar and Predrag Todorović of TV Centar Svilajnac. The award for the best radio report was given to Radio Sto Plus from Novi Pazar and its journalist Amela Bajrović, while the best author of the competition was Biljana Kuzmanović, editor of the Užice Republic Press portal.

The special award of the Ministry of European Integration went to the Media Research Center from Niš for the story of Milica Milojevic Kostic, while the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia awarded a special award to TV Galaxy 32 from Čačak and its journalist Milena Petrovic. In the category of a set of media stories, the Regional Internet Portal E-Braničevo from Požarevac and journalists Ana Grujić and Tijana Sotirov won the award. The competition results are available on the EU PRO website.

Through the activities of the EU PRO programme, the European Union contributes to the more balanced socio-economic development of Serbia with a total of 25 million Euros. The programme aims to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises, improving the business environment and strengthening social cohesion in 99 local self-government units, in two regions: the Region of Šumadija and Western Serbia and the Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia. The activities in the field are implemented by UNOPS.