Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection launched the Project: Further Implementation of Environmental Approximation Strategy with the support of the European Union

Belgrade, 15th of December 2016 – Project “Further Implementation of Environmental Approximation Strategy – EAS”, has been officially launched today. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection and is funded by the European Union in the amount of 1.6 million Euros. The Project will be focused on supporting the line Ministry and Negotiation Group 27 in strengthening institutions and strategic planning within Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change.

“Environment is an important area that requires continual work and coordinated actions of all relevant institutions. This is corroborated by the fact that environmental approximation requires 10 billion Euros, out of which almost 1 billion Euros for waste and around 7 billion for water supply, sewerage and waste waters. This programme will help our country in further approximation of the European Union legislation in the area of environment by strengthening institutions, improving infrastructure and investment planning for new projects in this area”, said Ms. Stana Božović, State Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection.

Oscar Benedict, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, stated that six chapters had been opened by then and expressed his hope that Chapter 27 would be open without initial benchmark criteria. “Chapter 27, addressing the environment, is the most complex when it comes to the number of directives, and makes up one-third of total European legislation. It is also the most expensive and requires huge investments, but it is also the most important because it concerns the quality of life of all citizens: quality of water, air, land. There is no other chapter that affects our lives, health, future and development projects to this extent. The project that is launched today should strengthen institutional capacities to prepare Serbian negotiating position in this area”, Benedict emphasised.

The conference was also an opportunity to present Slovenian experience in negotiations of Chapter 27, as well as experience of Macedonia in the field of costs and benefits related to future development of sustainable investments and the implementation of the European Union regulations in the water sector.