J. Joksimović and Beyer: Serbia – an important and reliable candidate and partner of the EU
September 02 2019 | Belgrade
Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has met with Peter Beyer, a member of the German Bundestag and coordinator of Trans-Atlantic cooperation at the German Federal Foreign Office. They have discussed the continuation of Serbia’s European integration and further cooperation of the two countries in the process, about the results of the reforms that are being implemented, situation in the region and the EU, bilateral relations and other topics.
Jadranka Joksimović has emphasised that Germany is an important political, foreign trade and strategic partner of Serbia, as well as the largest bilateral donor, which, in the past 15 years, has allocated more than EUR 1.8 billion in grants for numerous development projects. She has also expressed her appreciation for all forms of assistance and cooperation through which Germany has been supporting Serbia’s European path.
The Minister has stated that Serbia is firmly committed to continuing the accession process and that more than a half of the citizens support European integration, as confirmed by the latest public opinion poll according to which 53% of the citizens support EU membership and 68% support the implementation of reforms. She has stressed that reforms are crucial for the development of the society and the state, highlighting those related to the rule of law and economy as particularly important. She has underlined that it is important that the EU and Member States in synergy with the candidate countries work on improving the visibility of the importance of joint cooperation.
Joksimović has further stated that Serbia expects to open some of the chapters that will be technically prepared by the end of the year, i.e. by the end of the Finnish EU Council Presidency. So far, four chapters have been prepared: CH 2 - Freedom of Movement for Workers, CH 4 - Free Movement of Capital, CH 14 - Transport, and CH 21 - Trans-European Networks, and there will be more, as new chapters are currently under preparation.
The Minister of European Integration has explained that Serbia advocates regional stability because it is a precondition for cooperation, development and progress. She has informed Beyer that Belgrade is ready to continue the dialogue when Pristina abolishes the unilateral and illegitimate decision on introducing taxes on goods from Central Serbia. She has added that Belgrade advocates reaching a sustainable and compromise solution that will not imply absolute gain for one side and absolute loss for the other.
Peter Beyer, a member of the German Bundestag and coordinator of Trans-Atlantic cooperation at the German Federal Foreign Office, believes that Pristina should abolish the decision on introducing taxes on goods from Central Serbia as soon as possible, so that the dialogue may continue. He has particularly underlined Serbia’s role in ensuring regional stability, emphasising that Serbia has proven to be a reliable partner to the EU. Beyer has confirmed that Serbia will also have Germany’s support in the continuation of the accession process, in accordance with the defined criteria. He has further assessed that the effects of reforms – which he expects to become more intensive – are visible, which confirms their efficiency. He has noted that reforms in the area of the rule of law are particularly important, as are those guaranteeing macroeconomic stability.
Joksimović and Beyer believe that the relations between the two countries are at a high level and that there is mutual commitment to strengthening overall cooperation.