Serbian President meets with EU Enlargement Commissioner

The EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, met in Belgrade with the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, as well as Prime Minister Miloš Vučević, Minister of Interior Ivica Dačić, and Foreign Affairs Minister Marko Đurić, as well as the Speaker and members of the Parliament.

The topics of the meetings were the EU accession negotiations, priority reforms under the accession process and current work on the Reform Agenda to access funding under the Growth Plan and Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans. Within the context of the Economic and Investment Plan’s implementation, the Commissioner will also attend the €10 million signing ceremony on Biomass II grant agreements (supporting investments in greener district heating), visit the largely EU funded €15.5 million intermodal Terminal Batajnica, and inaugurate the new Palace of Justice in Novi Sad which the EU wholly financed for an amount of €13.1 million.  

Following the meetings, European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said he hoped the next European Commission would see Serbia joining the bloc while pointing out that Serbia needs to continue with democratic reforms and align its foreign policy more closely with that of the EU.

“It is clear that we need the democratic reforms to go ahead,” Varhelyi said and added:”One cannot forget about the need to align further with the EU foreign policy, this is again something that we have discussed and where we need Serbia to move along and to adjust its foreign policy more and more to EU foreign policy”.

Vučić said he believed Serbia’s efforts to join the union would not be hampered, but he remained vague on actual policy shifts.

“I am not sure that it is possible to predict many years ahead but we will prepare to be closer (with negotiations) and I hope that if what Oliver Varhelyi rightly reproached us for, which is our non-compliance with their foreign policy, will not be a hindrance,” he said.

(Voice of America, 14.05.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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