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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article13 May 2024Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations2 min read

Commissioner Várhelyi travels to Serbia and Montenegro to discuss reform priorities under EU accession and Growth Plan

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi,is in Serbia and Montenegro this week, from today to Thursday, 16 May to advance discussions on EU related reforms and the Reform Agendas to access funding under the newly adopted €6 billion Growth Plan for the Western Balkans.

In Serbia, Commissioner Várhelyi met President Aleksandar Vučić today, and will meet tomorrow with members of the new government, including Prime Minister Miloš Vučević, Minister of Interior Ivica Dačić, and Foreign Affairs Minister Marko Đurić, as well as the Speaker and members of the Parliament. The discussions will focus on the accession negotiations, priority reforms under the accession process and current work on the Reform Agenda to access funding under the Growth Plan and Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans. Within the context of the Economic and Investment Plan’s implementation, the Commissioner will also attend the €10 million signing ceremony on Biomass II grant agreements (supporting investments in greener district heating), visit the largely EU funded €15.5 million intermodal Terminal Batajnica, and inaugurate the new Palace of Justice in Novi Sad which was wholly financed by the EU for an amount of €13.1 million.  

On 15 and 16 May, Commissioner Várhelyi will travel to Montenegro to discuss EU priority reforms to meet the interim benchmarks under the Rule of Law chapters. The Commissioner will also visit several EU funded projects such as the Lastva electricity sub-station and the Tivat/Kotor wastewater treatment plant. In Kotor, the Commissioner will participate in the third regional summit on the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, hosted by the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milojko Spajić. Bringing all the leaders of the Western Balkans together, the Kotor summit will operationalise the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans further. After the Tirana summit where cooperation on the Single Euro Payments Area, Green Lanes/customs cooperation, WiFi4WBs and European Digital Innovation Hubs were decided, in Kotor three additional actions will be identified based on the Commission’s Growth Plan: Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance, Security of supply of Critical Medicines and the European Union Digital Identity Wallet.

The regional summit will be followed by a joint press conference by Prime Minister Spajić and Commissioner Várhelyi, which will be available on EbS.

More information on the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans is available in this factsheet and on the dedicated web page. More details on the EIP flagship projects are available in this brochure.