The European Union’s Ambassador in Serbia, Sem Fabrizi said that the media should not be used for political fights and called for reducing tension.
“It’s important to say that political animosity should not turn into personal attacks. The media cannot be used as an instrument for political battles, the debate should be conducted in an appropriate manner with an exchange of ideas. We support that political narrative. Reduce tensions, hold debates. The media have to be objective and have an important role, especially in the period before the elections,” EU Delegation chief Sem Fabrizi said.
He said that there are legitimate concerns for human rights because of the restrictive measures imposed during the state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are legitimate concerns but human rights have to remain on top. The measures have to be proportional and time-limited,” he said.
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He went on to say that the aid that the EU provided was what the Serbian authorities asked for. “When the crisis started everyone asked for medical aid… and Serbia immediately started purchasing that material all over the world and asked us to help transport it. We set up a so-called air bridge, paid transport costs, pilots and permits for 15 cargo flights. That was about seven million euro in donations.
We also bought some 4.9 million euro worth of medical material as aid to Serbia. Last week, we delivered the first 60 ventilators and triage containers. That aid was based on donations and loans. We calculated that the EU has provided aid or loans worth 450 million Euro over the past 20 years,” he said.
Fabrizi said the Zagreb Summit video conference was a good meeting. “It relayed a message that the EU is working closely with Serbia and the Western Balkans…. It was an opportunity t show that solidarity goes both ways,” he said and recalled that aid was sent by the EU to Serbia and that Serbia sent aid to Italy and to Kosovo.
The EU Delegation chief said that the summit also discussed economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic and added that it’s important to help each other in the recovery. Fabrizi confirmed the European perspective of the region.
“Expansion is a reality for Serbia but now we are focused on solidarity, working together and economic reforms on the road to recovery. Serbia’s relationship with the EU is firmly on the path to expansion,” he said.
“Serbia is about to join the EU. We donate almost 300 million euro to Serbia every year, in addition to loans from the European Investment Bank. I think that the citizens of Serbia can see how much the EU has given to Serbia in the past, now and in the future, and how important this assistance is for Serbia’s progress towards the Union membership – from environmental protection, infrastructure and the rule of law to education. The list is long and important,” Sem Fabrizi concluded.
This post is also available in: Italiano