Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met yesterday with the Italian Minister for European Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, who said he came to Belgrade to convey Italy’s support for the enlargement of the European Union to include the Western Balkans.
Mr Amendola underlined that Italy wanted the new European Commission to have a clear plan from the start of its mandate regarding expediting the negotiations with Serbia.
“Enlargement to include the Western Balkan countries, as a geopolitical priority, would be a historic step for the EU,” said the Italian minister.
President Vucic thanked Italy for its continued support for Serbia’s European integration, in particular for Italy’s strong efforts to keep the European integration of Serbia and the region at the heart of the EU’s political programme in the coming period.
In this regard, he welcomed the message from the 16 EU members to the European Commission, including Italy, that European integration is the best way to achieve lasting stability and security in the Western Balkans, as well as the proposal for a new methodology prepared by Italy with eight other EU members.
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The Serbian President said that Serbia is continuing with reforms needed to join the European Union. At the same time, he expressed the need for a clear strategic plan for EU enlargement and a timetable for accession, as the European integration process is important for peace and stability in the region.
He also underlined that Serbia, with the same objective of regional stability, will continue to promote a policy of peace and cooperation.
Minister Amendola said that the initiative to implement the four freedoms, movement of people, goods, services and capital in the Western Balkans is very significant for the region and that Italy strongly supports it.
The two officials also expressed their satisfaction with the bilateral relations between Serbia and Italy, mentioning 140 years since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. They also stated that the common goal is to seize all opportunities to strengthen economic cooperation and any other cooperation and that the two countries should continue the practice of holding joint government sessions.
This post is also available in: Italiano