EU commissioner to Vucic: Money for immediate needs approved

NEWS 31.03.2020 13:16
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Source: Tanjug / Zoran Žestić

European Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi told President Aleksandar Vucic that Serbia would be granted access to 15 million Euro for immediate needs to combat the coronavirus pandemic, a press release from the president’s cabinet said on Tuesday.

The Commissioner for Expansion and Neighborhood policy is quoted as saying that he instructed the relevant European Union services to allow the use of the funds for immediate needs which will be financed from current agreements with UNOPS and the UNDP and from the European integration support program.  

The press release said that Vucic and Várhelyi spoke by telephone about cooperation in combating the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes as well as EU aid to Serbia and the Western Balkans.  

The commissioner said that he also requested the possible re-directing of the remaining 20.8 million Euro from the European integration program for short-term needs and the re-directing of 57.6 million Euro intended for other projects with the approval of the Serbian government. Várhelyi also offered Serbia the possibility of joining the voluntary agreement on joint procurement.  

Vucic said that he is counting on EU support in dealing with the economic consequences of the pandemic. He added that Serbia will meet its obligations on the European integration path and will show solidarity with the EU member states worst hit by the coronavirus.  

The press release said the Vucic and Várhelyi agreed on the need for the Western Balkans and EU to coordinate measures to combat the pandemic.