Sweden and Norway in joint efforts for greener industry in Serbia – Closing Conference of the IED Serbia Project

Sweden and Norway support Serbia in taking concrete steps towards high environmental European standards in the field of industrial pollution. High standards and investments in green industry have a positive effect on environment, public health and competitiveness of the industry – these are some of the conclusions of the Closing Conference dedicated to the successful completion of the project “Implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive – IED Serbia”.

Over the past three years, the IED Serbia Project provided support to Serbia in the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive, both at institutional, and at the level of individual companies, thus supporting Serbia in the process of accession to the European Union. The project was implemented by the Cleaner Production Centre of the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, with financial support of Sweden in the amount of EUR 1.46 M.

Closing Conference of the IED Serbia Project, named “Sweden and Norway cooperate with Serbia on greening the industry”, was an opportunity to highlight a regional cooperation model – Sweden and Norway are neighboring countries and have extensive experience working together in the field of industry, environment and economy. Norway is supporting Serbian Ministry for Environmental Protection with another ongoing project – eVOC Serbia – that is also dedicated to reducing of industrial emissions, and it is funded with EUR 445,000. Both projects have a special focus on implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive in Serbia.

Assistant Minister of Environmental Protection, Mr. Dejan Furjanović, said in the opening speech that many topics pertaining to the environment, but also to the economy and sustainable development, were addressed during the project implementation period. “The survival of society is closely linked to the available amounts of food, water and energy. That is why it is necessary to use limited water resources much more rationally and efficiently than is the practice today”, he said. Mr. Furjanović added that the IED Serbia Project was primarily dedicated to food processing industry, which is one of the most important industries in Serbia, and the one that will become ever more important in the years to come. 

Head of Development Cooperation in the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade, Mr. Ola Andersson, reminded that Serbia made a landmark in environment reform by submitting the negotiation position for Chapter 27 last year, which was prepared with the support of the IED Serbia Project in the section related to industrial pollution. “This project has worked a lot not only on preparing the integrated permits, but also on strengthening the monitoring of permits and inspection. The citizens of Serbia and NGOs are very clear in demanding enforcement and implementation of environmental standards, for example to have clean air. Reducing industrial emissions is necessary”, sad Mr. Andersson.

“This is one of the examples of Nordic cooperation – both projects contribute to implementation of Industrial Emissions Directive – Norwegian project (eVOC) is focused on IED part related to the use of Volatile Organic Compounds, which is more relevant for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while the Swedish support mainly focuses on integrated permitting for large facilities. Both projects specifically contribute to the two objectives: increased economy growth and competitiveness, and increased capacities in the fields of environment, climate and energy”, said deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade Mr. Geir Håkon Johansen.

Dean of the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy of the University of Belgrade, Prof. Dr Petar Uskoković, said that these two projects are of great importance for Serbia, and reflected on the cooperation between the IED Serbia Project and students. “They are important for the future of implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive, and important driver for the introduction of innovations and cleaner technologies when it comes to greener industry in Serbia”, he said.

The Conference was attended by representatives of the Embassies of Sweden and Norway, Ms. Ida Reuterswärd from the Embassy of Sweden, and Ms. Nela Jović from the Embassy of Norway in Belgrade.

In the course of the Conference, the audience was also addressed by the representatives of the Cleaner Production Centre of the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade – Project Manager, Dr Bojana Vukadinović, and Key Expert on the IED Serbia and eVOC Serbia projects, Mr. Riccardo Quaggiato.

Some of the participants joined the Conference via video link: Dr Beata Fridrih, Environmental Coordinator of the MK Group, Ms. Gordana Gavrilović from the Secretariat for Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the City of Subotica, Ms. Aleksandra Popović, Environmental Inspector of the City of Belgrade, and international technical project experts, Mr. Tom Stafford and Mr. Richard Schlachta.

The Conference was also an opportunity to see a film on the most important results delivered during the implementation of the IED Serbia Project (watch here), as well as promotional videos dedicated to cooperation with the expert team and students. The Conference is available on the following link, while promotional videos can be found on the official YouTube channel of the IED Serbia Project. Agenda of conference can be seen here.