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Joksimović and Scalfarotto on support and solidarity between Serbia and Italy

November 03 2020 | Belgrade

Joksimović and Scalfarotto on support and solidarity between Serbia and Italy

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has spoken today with Ivan Scalfarotto, Deputy Minister at the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, about current developments and cooperation between the two countries in the process of Serbia’s European integration.

They have discussed further strengthening of bilateral cooperation, measures that Serbia and Italy are taking in the fight against the pandemic, as well as the situation in the region.

Joksimović has assessed that the relations between Italy and Serbia are at a high level, which, according to her, is best evidenced by strategic cooperation at the political level, extremely important economic cooperation and mutual solidarity, which was first demonstrated during the devastating floods in Serbia in 2014, as well as during the current pandemic when Serbia returned the gesture by delivering medical equipment to Italy.

“We have demonstrated in practice what European solidarity means and which European values Serbia and Italy foster and base their friendly relations on, and in that vein, we continue to strengthen our bilateral relations, as well as further pave Serbia’s European road”, stated Joksimović.

She has also expressed satisfaction at the possibility of intensifying cooperation regarding the development of strategic projects within the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy and programmes that will enable better connectivity of the region and Serbia’s faster transition to a more innovative and green economy, which in turn will contribute to Serbia’s faster integration into the EU.

Scalfarotto has noted that Italy is a sincere friend of Serbia and that it will continue to support the EU enlargement policy along with consistent adherence to its key principles.

He has also stressed that one of the goals of his visit to Belgrade is to discuss the ways in which Italy could provide a concrete contribution to the improvement and acceleration of Serbia’s European integration process, which will certainly contribute to the development of economic and political connections between the two countries.

Scalfarotto has particularly commended Serbia’s continuous commitment to stability and intensified cooperation in the Western Balkans.

Joksimović has thanked Scalfarotto for Italy’s assistance in the area of European integration, expressing her expectations that, by the end of the year, in line with the new methodology Serbia accepted, the Intergovernmental Conference will be held, where Serbia’s results would be analysed and where Serbia would present its plan of activities for the following year.

“The new Government will strive to implement all necessary reforms in order to accelerate the European path, particularly those in key areas such as the rule of law”, said the Minister.

In this context, Joksimović has added that Serbia particularly welcomes the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, which the European Commission recently presented, given that it foresees significant investments in the development of transport, energy and digital infrastructure that will ensure better connectivity both within the region and with the EU which is Serbia’s crucial trade partner.

Joksimović has expressed her belief that, through the realisation of the Plan, the region’s economic environment will be improved and economic connections with Italy further strengthened.

Source: Tanjug