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Serbia navigates path to join the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

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Tanja Miščević, the Minister for European Integration, emphasized today to the Beta News Agency’s Daily European Service the importance of Serbia meeting legal criteria to join the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

She outlined that compliance with regulations concerning payment services, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, banking operations, competition protection, personal data protection, and more are necessary prerequisites for SEPA membership.

SEPA aims to streamline euro-denominated payments to simplify bank transfers.

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Miščević noted that the National Bank of Serbia began work on the pre-notification application last year, with earlier efforts focused on aligning with relevant laws and regulations.

Becoming part of SEPA brings substantial benefits, with transaction costs expected to decrease significantly once Serbia is integrated. Miščević cited a World Bank analysis indicating that the absence of a unified payment system results in around €500 million annually lost in alternative transaction methods for the approximately €12 billion in remittances received by the Western Balkans.

The alignment of Serbia and other EU partners from the Western Balkans with financial regulations for SEPA accession was discussed at the EU Growth Plan Summit for the region in late February in Tirana.

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