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J. Joksimović and Da Silva Pina: Portuguese EU presidency starts at the beginning of 2021

November 27 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović and Da Silva Pina: Portuguese EU presidency starts at the beginning of 2021

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has had a meeting with Portuguese Ambassador to Serbia Maria Da Silva Pina, in Belgrade, today. They have discussed the priorities and plans of the upcoming Portuguese EU presidency in the first half of 2021, developments in Serbia’s accession negotiations, and intensifying bilateral cooperation.

Joksimović has expressed gratitude for the active support Portugal has been providing to Serbia in the European integration process, and has expressed expectation that Serbia will have a chance to accelerate the pace of EU membership negotiations during Portugal’s EU Council presidency.

“Along with working on achieving the key current goal of protecting citizens’ health, the Government of Serbia will work on the implementation of all established priorities that will contribute to a faster development of the country, further improvement of the economic system, progress with regard to the rule of law, systemic protection of the environment, infrastructural development”, stated Joksimović.

She has added that she believes that, “in this sense, the new negotiation methodology will contribute to a faster valorisation of our activities which are based on the recommendations from the EC Report on Serbia, as well as to additional credibility of the European Union’s enlargement policy”.

Da Silva Pina has stressed that Portugal will continue to sincerely support Serbia’s European path, adding that the positive signals and concrete assistance coming from the EU and EU member states are extremely important at a time when entire Europe and the whole world are facing severe effects of the pandemic.

She has stated that the priorities of the Portuguese presidency in the first half of 2021 will include a resilient, green and digital Europe, as well as strengthening of the rule of law, adding that they will also work on the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.

“Although the enlargement policy is not one of the envisaged priorities of the Portuguese six-month presidency in the first half of 2021, Portugal will not only not disregard the enlargement policy and the European integration of the Western Balkans, but will also advocate additional progress, which will be an opportunity for Portugal and Serbia to intensify mutual bilateral cooperation in addition to their cooperation regarding European integration”, conveyed Da Silva Pina.

The interlocutors have agreed that the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans is an ideal framework for Serbia to turn towards the realisation of so-called green and innovative investments, in line with the agenda of the developed countries of the EU. They have also noted that Portugal has great expertise in the area of environmental protection, energy efficiency and digitisation, which can be useful to Serbia.

Source: Tanjug