J. Joksimović and Dittmann: Continuing the reforms is crucial for Serbia's progress on its European path
March 08 2018 | Belgrade
Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has discussed with German Ambassador Axel Dittmann the EU Enlargement Strategy, European integration of Serbia, the results of the reforms being implemented in the accession process, bilateral relations and other important topics.
Jadranka Joksimović has thanked Germany, as a significant strategic partner and the largest bilateral donor of Serbia, for its overall assistance and support in the European integration process. This is also confirmed by the fact that Germany has allocated EUR 1.6 billion in grants for various projects in the past 15 years.
The Minister of European Integration has assessed that the Enlargement Strategy is, primarily, a clear political signal and encouragement which confirms that Serbia, as a candidate for EU membership, is being seriously counted on. At the same time, the Strategy is a big incentive, both for the state and for its citizens, to continue with the initiated reforms which are the best mechanism for the overall development of the state.
Minister Joksimović has also stated that Serbia understands that 2025 is not a strictly determined and promised year of accession, but rather a framework and an incentive.
Minister Joksimović has expressed her expectations that Serbia will open the chapters for which it is ready during the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council. She has expressed her belief that the positive trend of accession will also continue during the Austrian Presidency - in the second half of the year. After all, these two countries, as well as Romania that will hold the presidency of the EU Council in the first half of the next year, have set the EU enlargement as their priority.
Axel Dittmann has stressed that the Enlargement Strategy represents a strong positive signal for Serbia. Therefore, Germany will continue to provide clear support to our country in the continuation of the accession process. He has stressed the importance of further reforms in Chapters 23 and 24, as well as the importance of the judiciary reform, discussed in the accession negotiations, which strengthens the independence of the judiciary, as well as the fight against crime and corruption, minority rights and media freedom. He has assessed that Serbia is a reliable and credible partner on whom the EU can seriously count, especially when the stability of the region is in question.
The interlocutors have concluded that the relations between the two countries are good and that they are developing to the mutual satisfaction - this information is supported by German investments in Serbia's economy.