Serbia May Receive ?186.7 Mln from EU this Year

Serbia may receive €186.7 million ($242.7 million) from the EU's pre-accession fund this year, an adviser at the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

Nikola Aksic said at a seminar titled 'Programming and Management of European Funds at the Local Level' that the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) has earmarked €186.7 million for Serbia in 2007, €190.9 million in 2008, €194. 8 million in 2009 and €198.7 million in 2010, the official Tanjug news agency reported.

Aksic said the European Commission will make a final decision by the end of May as to which of the 80 submitted projects for 2007 will be financed by the fund. These projects will not be carried out this year but in 2008. The EU suspended pre-membership negotiations last year due to Serbia's failure to capture Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, who is wanted by the UN war tribunal in The Hague on charges of genocide.

Shortly after a coalition government was formed in Serbia last week, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn pledged that the EU will resume the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) talks or pre-membership talks with Serbia as soon as the EU sees that the new government is implementing rigorously its commitment to European integration, more efficient coordination of security services, and the regulation of relations with the UN tribunal.

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