Serbia has yet to learn how to spend EU money well
More than three billion euros have been paid to Serbia by the European Treasury over the past 20 years and with around 200 million euros per year, Serbia is the largest recipient of IPA pre-fund money. accession for the Western Balkans.
However, not all of this money is well spent, possibly due to incorrect or unexplained procedures and choices made by the country’s rulers.
From the renovation of bridges, hospitals, schools, fortresses to various training courses, there are thousands of projects for which European funds have given money to Serbia since the country signed up. in the process of joining the EU.
“In 2000, we had 64 days without electricity. Since 2001, when we concluded agreements with the EU on the renewal of the energy system and the reconstruction of thermal power plants, we have rebuilt the energy system after 15 years of uninterrupted use, thanks to grants and loans from the European Bank investment, ”says Gordana Lazarević, European integration consultant.
An analysis of the balance of payments of the National Bank of Serbia clearly shows that out of some 200 million euros from IPA funds, Serbia uses more than 90% of this money, but not yet all of it.
Economist Goran Nikolić says these are relatively small sums of money, a hundred times lower than public spending and of little importance to Serbia. “The funds that do not end up in the state budget, which through various non-governmental organizations often find themselves in border municipalities to cover the needs of the people living in this area, constitute less than 1% of our expenditure. public and 10 times less than the remittances we receive from abroad.
While Croatia has received around 5,000 euros per capita from European coffers over the past 7 years, the Western Balkan countries have barely taken around 500 euros. As soon as one becomes a member, the money of the European treasury that follows increases by at least eight.
It should not be forgotten that access to more European funds also means a compulsory contribution, 1% of a country’s budget, or around half a billion euros. The cost is fixed, so all available funds must be used in such a way that the state, like neighboring Bulgaria, does not make a loss.
This article is also available in: Italiano