The Office for European Affairs in Brussels at the Summit on the Future of Europe

Upon the invitation of our colleagues from Brussels, from the organization “Friends of Europe”, Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung and OECD, the Province of Vojvodina, through its Office for European Affairs, is participating in the summit dedicated to the future of South East Europe and chances and perspectives of countries in the region for EU membership. What is important is that according to general view, Europe itself would not be complete in terms of economy, security, etc. without the countries which are on their way to the EU.

“It is important is to maintain that European momentum which has gained new stimuli with the visa liberalization and unlocking of the Interim Trade Agreement. However, it is also important for Europe to leave the doors open and continue supporting institutional building, implementation of European standards and modernization of economic resources. One of the main goals of the event is the improvement of relations with EU institutions and introduction to specific activities and steps imperative for strengthening the European way. On that way, in our case, both the Republic of Serbia and the Province of Vojvodina have their specific obligations and duties, in compliance with their competencies. Good news is that, in the case of our province, Vojvodina has already established good cooperation with the key European institutions, such as the Committee of the Regions, European Parliament, Institute of the Regions of Europe, etc. We are also members of institutions in Brussels, London, Paris, Salzburg and some other European capitals and thus in a way, we have moved a step forward and, I would say, pushed he whole country forward.

What is also important is that regional cooperation has been marked as support and basis of European perspective and in that sense the situation is clear, our province has put a lot of effort in the previous period, so that now we have established partnership with a number of regions from Italy and Austria to Sweden, Germany and Hungary. Therefore, it should not be surprising that this year only we have had over 250 projects under one European cross-border cooperation fund because we do not want to wait and waste a dinar or euro that could be useful for the improvement of our citizens’ lives, economic growth and prospects for new employment”, said Predrag Novikov, Director of the Office for European Affairs.

Moreover, new pre-accession funds, especially in education, innovation and rural development have also been discussed at the summit. Each of the aforementioned fields is of vital importance and Vojvodina is starting with preparations, so that we could attract European funds from private investors and EU pre- accession funds in these areas as well.