High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, began his first official visit to Belgrade with talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
After meeting with the representatives of the Serbian state leadership, High Representative Borrell says that the Western Balkans is part of Europe in geography, culture, economic ties and aspirations of its citizens.
“Serbia is a key partner of the EU. During the visit, I am here to reassure you of the Union’s continued commitment to Serbia’s European perspective,” the High Representative stresses.
The EU top diplomat also notes that negotiations with Serbia could proceed at an accelerated pace, which will require efforts by both Serbia and the EU.
“The EU has invested a lot in Serbia both politically and financially over the past 10 years – 2.5 billion euros in grants and I am happy to see that we are already working very closely together,” says High Representative Borrell, also confirming his personal commitment to the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
President Vucic welcomed the High Representative and said that all important issues and the Serbian economy were discussed at the meeting.
“I am very happy that today we were able to host the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, our friend Josep Borrell. I am happy that we had good and honest talks,” Vucic said.
The President of Serbia emphasizes that for the further progress of the Serbian economy it is important to preserve peace and stability and to continue activities of the Mini Schengen, to work with the EU to open the whole region and the single market and to open borders to Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and “Schengen countries,” for Serbian people to see a concrete benefit.
“Of course, the key solution is to become a full member of the EU,” added President Vucic, who concluded that compromise solutions are needed for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
HRVP Borel went on a visit to Serbia with meetings with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
The Prime Minister reiterated that Serbia is strongly committed to the European path and committed to the reform process that precedes full membership.
“The Prime Minister stressed that our country is continuously working on the chapters related to the rule of law and media freedom, emphasizing that she is extremely pleased with the adoption of the text of the Media Strategy, and above all with the way of passing this document, which was transparent and inclusive, with the participation of all relevant factors in this area, “the Government issued in a statement after the meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic expressed hope that the successful co-operation Serbia had with former senior EU officials would continue during the tenure of Josef Borrell. Minister Dacic also says that Belgrade is ready to continue the dialogue with Pristina when conditions are created for it, that is, as it stated, when fees are withdrawn. The interlocutors agreed that in terms of value, geography, politics and security, Serbia belongs to Europe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
High Representative Borrell concluded his visit with a meeting with representatives of the opposition. The European Parliament plays the role of facilitator in the dialogue between the authorities and the opposition on election conditions in Serbia.