The European Union and Serbia signed the financial agreement for the energy support package worth EUR 165 million. The grants, announced in October 2022, are mostly intended for energy crisis mitigation measures.
The EUR 165 million will be used for measures defined in the Government of Serbia’s energy roadmap, including help for vulnerable households and small and medium-sized enterprises, subsidies to households for energy efficiency and use of renewables, reforms in the energy sector, and the introduction of renewable energy auctions.
The ceremony was helt at the National Dispatch Center of the country’s electricity transmission system operator Elektromreža Srbije (EMS). The document was signed by Serbia’s Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Plamena Halačeva, in the presence of the Head of the EU Delegation Emanuele Giaufret, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, Minister of Finance Siniša Mali, Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović, and Jelena Matejić, Director of EMS.
Giaufret: A concrete example of EU solidarity
Emanuele Giaufret asserted that the financial agreement for the energy support package is a concrete example of EU solidarity towards Serbia and its citizens.
The funds will be used to help vulnerable families and entrepreneurs to cope with the energy crisis, enhance energy security in Serbia, and support the government’s energy roadmap and the energy transition, he said.
The EU is fully committed to the Western Balkans, including Serbia, in Giaufret’s words.
It was confirmed by the European leaders in December at the summit in Tirana, but they are not just words as there are also deeds, he explained.
Vučić: The total aid for the Western Balkans is EUR 1 billion
President Aleksandar Vučić said that this is an important day for Serbia because in one day it received a gift from the EU in the value of 1% of the annual state budget income.
He recalled that the planned support to the Western Balkans in the energy sector is worth 1 billion under two aid packages. The new agreement is part of a package of EUR 500 million for the region.
Serbia believes it is important not only to continue cooperation with the EU but also to speed up the path towards EU and secure the rule of law, further democratization and everything that improves the citizens’ life, Vučić said.
Package of six measures
The government’s energy roadmap contains measures such as providing subsidies for vulnerable households, and owing to this at least the same number of households will be protected this year as in 2022. The plan is to gradually increase it to 190,000 by the end of the year.
The second measure is to protect small and medium-sized enterprises from high electricity prices. At least 70,000 companies are expected to be supported.
Energy saving through incentives for electricity consumers is the third measure. Next on the list is bolstering competition in the gas and electricity markets, which implies unbundling and certification of all gas operators, the opening of the gas market and auctions for electricity producers from renewables.
Subsidies for installing solar panels and heat pumps
The fifth measure concerns energy security and co-financing of projects and the adoption of investment plans in the power, oil and gas sectors.
The promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources is the final measure. It includes subsidies for households in multi-apartment buildings to implement energy efficiency measures and install solar panels. Incentives are planned for households, SMEs, and public buildings to install heat pumps.
Source : Balkan Green Energy News