EU supports green transition of Serbian economy
760,000 EUR secured to implement the best ideas
Belgrade, February 20th 2023 – The EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia (EU), the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today presented certificates and financial awards to the authors of 16 new business solutions to accelerate the green transition of the Serbian economy. Thanks to the EU funds, these solutions have received financial support totalling EUR 726,000 so they can be implemented this year.
The award-winning solutions were proposed by public and private companies, civil society organisations, research institutions, and local self-governments. They were selected as the best out of 140 proposals submitted in four Public Calls in 2022.
"We are here today to celebrate innovation and to recognise companies with the best ideas for the green transition of the Serbian economy. Thanks to the "EU for Green Agenda in Serbia" project, the best 16 solutions for green transition of Serbian economy have been selected," said Emanuele Giaufret, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia. His Excellency Giaufret added: "Serbian companies have ingenuity and creativity to take country to greener and healthier future. These solutions can only have a positive impact on the environment as well as on the health and wellbeing of the people across Serbia. We are glad that EU funds go directly into green investment to innovative Serbian companies."
"The sustainable economic development of Serbia, with full respect for the environment and the well-being of all citizens, is one of the main priorities of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In addition to the efforts we invest in improving the strategic and legislative framework, for the successful implementation of the green transition we also need specific innovative solutions for our economy, such as those that were awarded today," said Sandra Dokić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The practical implementation of the award-winning solutions will help reduce GHG emissions, switch to renewable energy sources, reuse waste to make new products, improve air quality, and preserve biodiversity.
Thanks to the shift to a business model that protects the environment and human health, Serbian companies will be more competitive in export markets, thus contributing to sustainable economic growth and enabling the creation of new green jobs.
"Serbian companies have shown that they understand the economic, social and environmental benefits of the green transition, and are willing to actively participate in this process," said Yakup Beris, Resident Representative of UNDP in Serbia. "In order to give the largest possible number of interested parties the opportunity to develop and implement their innovative "green" ideas, today we have opened a new perennial Public Call for the green transition of the Serbian economy and society," Beris added.
The new Public Call is open for proposals for business solutions from all five priority areas of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans: decarbonisation (reducing dependence on fossil fuels), circular economy (conserving natural resources), reducing environmental pollution, protecting and conserving nature and biodiversity, and developing sustainable food supply systems and rural development. The Call remains open until the end of 2026.
Today's event was part of the project "EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia", implemented by UNDP with financial support from the European Union, in partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Government of Switzerland. The total value of this initiative is 16.5 million euros, of which 8 million euros is provided by the EU and the rest by the governments of Sweden, Switzerland, and Serbia.