Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi said that EU accession is a long and complicated process, adding that reform implementation and reconciliation are important factors of the Western Balkans’ EU integration process.

If you perceive your neighbours as rivals, you won’t get very far, Fabrizi told a conference “What are the prospects of enlargement in a preoccupied Europe?

Fabrizi said that the rule of law is the fundamental element of the EU. It should therefore come as no surprise that Union Members insist on it, he said.

“Serbia has made progress in certain areas; in others, not so much. EU accession process is chance to transform the society and promote economy and democracy,” Fabrizi stated.

He said that Serbia can benefit from EU’s shift in focus towards the Western Balkans.

Head of Serbia’s EU accession negotiating team Tanja Miscevic said that Belgrade expects substantial assistance from neighbouring countries, including Romania, which is set to take over the EU presidency as of 1 January.

“We knew we would have Austria’s support as it lobbied for the opening of new chapters. We expect Romania to do the same,” Tanja Miscevic said.