Challenges of Vucic’s government: Between EU membership and relations with NATO

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is scheduled to visit the NATO headquarters in Brussels in late November.

The Beta newswire reported on Tuesday that  Vucic would meet with the Western military alliance’s leaders and discuss “further cooperation between NATO and Serbia.”  Beta claims that Vucic will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the NATO Council. Beta also quoted the unofficial sources and said that the visit would take place on November 23. 

Vucic’s trip and his meetings with top NATO officials was hinted at last week at the Belgrade Security Forum by Stoltenberg’s deputy assistant, James Appathurai. 

According to him, it is possible for Serbia to join the European Union without becoming “a NATO member.” 

“It is also possible that it will be the other way around,” said Appathurai, adding that there was “no automatism there.”

In terms of the latest developments regarding the relations between Serbia and the EU and the recent report by EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini in which she stated that Serbia was expected to further normalize the relations with official Pristina, the Serbian PM confirmed that he “had acknowledged it” without going into too much detail.

The report in question concerns the priorities of EU’s common foreign and security policy for 2016.

“How did they put when I spoke about Trepca (mining basin in Kosovo)? That they acknowledged it? Now I have acknowledged those objections, both the praise and the objections,” he told reporters while touring a factory in Leskovac, southern Serbia, when asked to comment on the report that was published on Monday. 

In it, the EU “encouraged Serbia to intensify implementation of reforms in key areas such as the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organized crime, and freedom of expression and the media, and also expects Belgrade to further normalize its ties with Pristina and align its foreign policy with the EU.” 

Mogherini’s report also said that, as part of its EU accession talks, Serbia was expected to focus on rule of law, having opened Chapters 23 and 24. 

“The EU encourages Serbia to take this positive momentum forward and to intensify legislative reforms and their effective implementation in the key areas of judicial reform, fight against corruption and organized crime, and freedom of expression and the media.”

 (B92, 18.10.2016)

 

This post is also available in: Italiano

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