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J. Joksimović and Dovžan on Slovenian EU Council presidency priorities

July 06 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović and Dovžan on Slovenian EU Council presidency priorities

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has talked today with Gašper Dovžan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, about the continuation of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations during the Slovenian EU Council presidency.

During their online meeting, Joksimović and Dovžan have also discussed other matters of importance in terms of bilateral relations and the situation in the region.

According to the MEI press release, Joksimović has informed Dovžan about the Serbian Government’s activities on meeting the criteria from the accession process.

She has particularly emphasised the activities aimed at faster progress in the rule of law area.

“After the political Intergovernmental Conference EU–Serbia, the first one under the new enlargement methodology, where the opening of cluster 1 – Fundamentals was noted, we continue our work at an accelerated pace, thus demonstrating full political commitment and administrative preparedness for further progress on our European path”, said Joksimović.

She has emphasised that Serbia has fully prepared Cluster 3 – Inclusive growth and competitiveness, and Cluster 4 – Green Agenda, adding that Serbia has welcomed the Slovenian EU Council presidency prepared.

The interlocutors have also discussed the priorities of the Slovenian presidency, where Joksimović has stressed that Serbia is ready to actively contribute to the realisation of Slovenia’s announced goal to affirm EU enlargement to the Western Balkans as the Union’s strategic interest.

“Our goal is for Serbia, as well as our neighbours in the European integration process, to recover after the pandemic as soon as possible and integrate into the implementation of various European policies, including infrastructure, transport and energy connectivity, research, innovation, decarbonisation, digitalisation and cyber resilience”, said Joksimović.

She has noted that Serbia is thus showing that it is a responsible and resilient society, ready to ensure economic progress and better life for its citizens.

According to her, Serbia is ready to constructively participate at the EU–Western Balkans Summit, to be hosted by Slovenia in autumn.

Joksimović has stressed that finding an arrangement and showing readiness to include the Western Balkans in the Conference on the Future of Europe would send an important political signal.

She has conveyed that it will be an important forum for citizens, civil society, professional organisations, academic community, and all other stakeholders to share their ideas on the future of Europe.

Dovžan has stated that one of the goals of the Slovenian presidency will be to affirm the political inclusion of candidate and potential candidate countries in EU sector policies, which, according to Slovenia, is vital for the credibility and security of the Union itself.

He has emphasised that Slovenia, as the EU Presidency, will have the opportunity to manage the Conference on the Future of Europe together with key EU institutions, and address the main strategic challenges and preservation of European values.

“We will strive to encourage a discussion on the Europe we want to live in, and we are convinced that Serbia and other countries of the region can give an important contribution to these talks”, said Dovžan.

He has invited Joksimović to participate at an informal meeting of the ministers of European integration from the Western Balkans and the EU ministers participating the EU Council session. The informal meeting will be held at Brdo Estate on 23 July.

As announced, the aim of this meeting will be to exchange opinions on how to ensure resilience, better preparedness and efficient response to various crises.

Source: Tanjug