Serbia’s goal is to join the European Union

Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic, on the eve of his bilateral visit to Spain, met with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, who is today on a working visit to Serbia.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic underlined that the goal of Serbia and of the Western Balkan region was to join the EU, which can only be achieved by taking big steps ahead, and not through inflammatory statements reverting the region to the past. He underscored the importance of opening chapters in order to maintain the dynamic and continuity of the progress made in the European integration process.

The Serbian Acting Prime Minister reiterated that regional stability was one of the country’s foreign policy priorities, noting that Serbia would invest maximum efforts to, by playing a constructive role, give significant impetus to the Balkans becoming a zone of regional stability and peace.

It was jointly noted that Serbia was on the right track, as well as that it was necessary to make up for what had been lost in the past. The Head of Serbian diplomacy stressed that Serbia would do everything possible to contribute to the continuation of the dialogue with Pristina, but that it expected at the same time that what was crucial to Serbia be implemented, i.e. the establishment of the Community of Serbian Municipalities.

Commissioner Hahn said that he expected that two new negotiating chapters in the Serbia-EU accession talks be opened this month, underlining that this process would continue in the second part of the year as well.

As he emphasized, the aim of his visit to Serbia was to present to its people concrete results of the European integration process, considering that the citizens were growing a bit tired of the usual outcome and conclusions of the summits. Hahn stressed that he expected the regional investment conference, in which he would participate in Belgrade tomorrow, to provide incentives to stimulate both the economy and faster implementation of the idea of a ​​regional economic market, and the overall process of stabilizing the region and progress in the European integration process.

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was a precondition for the perspective of EU membership, expressing his expectation that Pristina would confirm its dedication to this process considering that there was no alternative to dialogue. He reiterated that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic pointed out that he was committed to dialogue, which the European Union expected from Pristina as well, this being a precondition for the path leading to EU entry.

Dacic and Hahn estimated that the dialogue needed to yield concrete results, despite the difficult past, seeing that it was important for both sides to have a successful and constructive dialogue.

The European Commissioner, underscoring also the goals of the meeting of Western Balkan leaders and EU top officials to be held in Trieste in July, said that it was about the promotion of the movement of goods and services, as well as mutual recognition of diplomas, with the aim of creating a better balanced “digital market”, while removing obstacles such as wireless telephone roaming service.

Dacic and Hahn agreed that cultural habits and preferences were also important, because the Western Balkans was a part of Europe, estimating that compromises are conducive to creating partner relations.

After the meeting with Acting Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Commissioner Hahn will also meet with President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, as well as participate in the investment conference and tour Zezelj Bridge, i.e., construction sites at its access roads. European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn will travel from Belgrade to Montenegro.