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J. Joksimović: Good bilateral relations and support to EU integration

April 14 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Good bilateral relations and support to EU integration

Serbia’s European path, situation in the region and development of bilateral relations have been the topics of today’s meeting between Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović and the newly appointed Bulgarian Ambassador, Petko Doykov.

Joksimović has particularly stressed the importance of developed friendly relations with Bulgaria for the overall progress and stability of the Western Balkans, as stated in the MEI press release.

“Serbia continues to count on Sofia’s support in our country’s European integration process, particularly in this period when we accepted the principles of the new enlargement methodology, which should contribute to the credibility, dynamism and efficiency of the negotiations”, said the Minister. Joksimović has emphasised that Serbia is actively preparing for the continuation of negotiations, both in terms of reforms in the rule of law and in terms of clusters 3 – Inclusive growth and competitiveness, and 4 – Green Deal, digitalisation and infrastructural connectivity.

She has noted that the first vital step in the continuation of the reformed accession process would be the holding of the high-level political Intergovernmental Conference by the end of June, i.e. by the end of the Portuguese EU Council presidency.

Doykov has stated that one of the tasks of his diplomatic term will be to follow and support Serbia’s European integration process, bearing in mind Bulgaria’s principled support to the EU enlargement policy.

The interlocutors have agreed that the bilateral relations of the two countries have significantly improved, both at the political and economic level, and that they should be additionally fostered and strengthened.

“The Bulgarian Government will further work on strengthening good neighbourly relations, particularly on improving cross-border cooperation within the Bulgaria–Serbia Programme, which is largely financed by the EU and which has supported a vast number of projects realised for the benefit of the citizens living on both sides of the border,” said Doykov.

Such cooperation will contribute to the development of both countries, particularly in the area of competitiveness, economy, tourism and environmental protection.

Joksimović and Doykov have concluded that additional EU support through the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans will help candidate and potential candidate countries to tackle the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic more swiftly.

This support will also contribute to the approximation to EU standards in terms of social and economic development.

Source: Tanjug