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EU Grants Some $240 Million To Belgrade

The European Commission has adopted a national program for Serbia that grants 178.7 million euros ($244 million) to Belgrade for reforms.

Under the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Serbia, the money is to help Serbia make changes in such sectors as public administration, transport, energy, environment, and agriculture.

In a statement, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said 2013 was a "historic year for Serbia" with Brussels deciding to open accession talks with Belgrade and with the Stabilization and Association Agreement coming into force.

Fuele said the EU will have given a total of 6.2 billion euros ($8.5 billion) to Serbia in pre-accession funds.

The EU announced last week that Serbia would begin accession negotiations on January 21 after EU ministers "acknowledged reform and normalization efforts" by Belgrade towards Kosovo.
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