Information News

J. Joksimović and Lutterotti: Austria advocates a more stimulating and faster negotiation process

December 19 2019 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović and Lutterotti: Austria advocates a more stimulating and faster negotiation process

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has met with Austrian Ambassador Nikolaus Lutterotti, on which occasion they discussed the continuation of Serbia’s European path, cooperation between the two countries in the accession process, bilateral relations, developments in the region and other topics.

The Minister has emphasised that Austria is an important ally of Serbia in the European integration process and a country that has consistently been supporting the EU enlargement policy. She has expressed her gratitude for the significant and concrete assistance Vienna has been providing to encourage the European path of Serbia, including the engagement of Austrian institutions in the implementation of projects financed from the EU funds or international financial institutions.

Jadranka Joksimović has stressed that Serbia will, as before, continue to conduct reforms and to be committed to the accession process. She believes that the opening of one chapter – although Serbia deserved more based on the results achieved in the reforms in areas such as the rule of law and economy – is a confirmation that the EU valorises Serbia’s reform activities.

The Minister has underlined the importance of the recent initiative of several EU member states, including Austria, which – believing that Europe’s consolidation cannot be completed without the Western Balkans – demonstrate readiness to make the negotiation process and methodology –if they were to change – go in the direction of acceleration and more benefits for candidates.

Jadranka Joksimović has particularly stressed the importance of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in the implementation of EU grants worth EUR 19.5 million, intended for the realisation of projects in the area of social and economic development of the Danube region. The largest sub-project, worth EUR 9 million allocated from two national IPA programmes, is the reconstruction of the Golubac fortress, which was opened at the ceremony organised in March this year. She has specified that, within the project “Social and economic development of the Danube region in Serbia”, Austria provided EUR 1 million in grants to local self-governments, regional development agencies, tourism and non-governmental organisations for projects intended for the development of the Danube region in Serbia.

The Minister has further recalled that Austria is a country that has provided significant support to Serbian public administration through twinning projects, in the context of the application and implementation of EU legislation in the areas such as justice, internal affairs, agriculture and environment.

Ambassador Lutterotti has stressed that Austria supports the enlargement policy and that it advocates the European perspective of the Western Balkans, based on the principle under which the progress of each country in the accession process depends on the individual country’s level of criteria fulfilment. He has noted that Vienna will continue to encourage and support the pro-European approach and strategic interest of Serbia, which he sees as a key Western Balkan country to become an EU member. He has positively assessed the results of the reforms and has expressed his expectations that the initiated reforms will be continued with greater intensity, particularly in the area of the rule of law.

Joksimović and Lutterotti have conveyed that bilateral relations of the two countries are at a high level, as confirmed by the fact that Austria is one of the leading investors in the Serbian economy. They have also noted that there is room for further intensification of the overall cooperation.

Source: Tanjug