Environmental protection "requires billions"

Zorana Mihajloviĉ says Serbia "will have much to do in bringing environmental situation in compliance with EU regulations."

Source: Tanjug

She added that "it will require billions of euros."

Estimates of various strategies show that Serbia needs to invest much more than a few million euros in environmental protection and that the amount is measured in billions, but it is not to be invested all at once, as this is a process, the minister of energy and environmental protection said.

She spoke to reporters at the government headquarters after she and Swedish Ambassador to Serbia Christer Asp signed an agreement on a EUR 1.7 million Swedish grant for an environmental protection project to Serbia.

“If we can say that Chapters 23 and 24 (dealing with the judiciary and the fight against corruption) are difficult, then I can also say that Chapter 27, which deals with environmental protection, is more difficult than the two put together. This is perhaps the most difficult chapter,” Mihajloviĉ said.

Mihajloviĉ pointed out that, given the amount of work that needs to be done in this area, it is necessary to make sure that the capacities of the public administration are at a high level.

It cannot be said that Serbia has done little in this area, as many laws were passed that regulate environmental management, but there are a lot of bills that have not even started being prepared yet, the minister added.

She said that the ministry is working on amending the laws on environmental and nature protection and on management of waste, chemicals and biocides, adding that they should be entered in parliamentary procedure in the fall.

After that we need to pass relevant by-laws, in compliance with relevant EU directives, said Mihajloviĉ.

She pointed out that the area of the protection of the environment is not just a sector that calls for a lot of expenditures, as one of the objectives here is to create new jobs through the “green economy.

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