Information News

Joksimović and Bergant: Slovenia strongly supports enlargement policy and Serbia’s European path

September 21 2020 | Belgrade

Joksimović and Bergant: Slovenia strongly supports enlargement policy and Serbia’s European path

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has met today with the newly appointed Slovenian Ambassador to Serbia, Damjan Bergant. They discussed Serbia’s European integration process, further strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries, the situation in the Western Balkans, and the current challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

Joksimović has extended a warm welcome to the Slovenian Ambassador, expressing her belief that, during his diplomatic term, he will considerably contribute to the improvement of the bilateral relations between the two countries, and that support to Serbia’s EU accession process will continue to be concrete and consistent. 

“We are grateful to Slovenia for its significant expert and technical assistance to the Serbian administration in membership negotiations, as well as for understanding Serbia’s position in the region, which we have built by sincerely advocating a policy of peace, stability and cooperation,” stressed Joksimović.

She has added that Serbia is also grateful for Slovenia’s partner cooperation during the crisis caused by the pandemic, and that Serbia believes that further EU assistance in the socio-economic recovery of the region will be equally successful. 

She has expressed her expectation that Slovenia’s EU presidency in the second half of 2021 will additionally strengthen the credibility of the enlargement policy and enable Serbia, as well as the Western Balkans, to gain new impetus in the EU accession process. 

Joksimović has also expressed her belief that the so-far approach in assessing Serbia’s progress will result in positive assessments of all its reform results in the October Progress Report and that they will primarily be based on clear and available facts.

The Minister has emphasised that the new Government of Serbia will additionally accelerate the pace of the reform process, particularly in key areas, such as the rule of law, judiciary reform and fight against corruption, which, according to her, citizens expect. 

She has informed the Ambassador that the Action Plan for the implementation of the Media Strategy was adopted in May, that the action plans for chapters 23 and 24 were revised in July, and that the Law on the Prevention of Corruption entered into force on 1 September.

She has stressed that Serbia has so far been negotiating under very strict EU methodology and rules, and that it has never sought any “shortcuts to membership”.

“We hope that, in addition to the announced Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, the new negotiation methodology will enable the improvement and acceleration of the process whenever the conditions therefor are met,” said Joksimović.

Ambassador Begrant has stated that Slovenia will continue to provide concrete assistance to Serbia in all negotiation chapters where it is necessary, adding that EU enlargement will certainly be one of the priorities of the Slovenian presidency.

He has particularly emphasised the importance of President Aleksandar Vučić’s participation at the Bled Strategic Forum and his visit to Slovenia in the context of intensifying political and economic relations between Serbia and Slovenia.

Source: Tanjug