Amendola: Italy backs Serbia’s European perspective

Amendola: Italy backs Serbia’s European perspective

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Tuesday with Italian Minister of European Affairs Vincenzo Amendola.

Italian Minister Amendola said he had sent a strong message to Belgrade for the support of the European Union’s enlargement to the Western Balkans. He emphasized that Italy has argued that the new European Commission, from the beginning of its mandate, has a clear plan, which would mean accelerating negotiations with Serbia.

“Enlargement to the Western Balkans as a geopolitical priority would be a historic step for the EU”, Amendola said.

Aleksandar Vucic thanked Italy for its continued support for Serbia’s European integration, in particular Italy’s intensive efforts to maintain the EU’s focus on European integration for Serbia and the region in the coming period.

In this regard, he commended the message of the 16 EU members to the European Commission, of which Italy was the founder, 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.

Vucic said Serbia is continuing the process of 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 integration, as the process of European integration is important for peace and stability in the region.

The Serbian President stressed that Serbia, with the same goal of regional stability, would continue to promote a policy of peace and co-operation, the Presidency’s press office said.

For his part, Amendola said the initiative to implement the four freedoms – the movement of people, goods, services and capital – into the Western Balkans is very important for the region and that Italy backs it.

The two men welcomed the level of bilateral relations between Serbia and Italy, which this year marks 10 years since the founding of the strategic partnership and 140 years of diplomatic relations. They stated that the common goal is to exploit all opportunities to enhance economic and any other co-operation and that the two countries should continue the practice of organizing joint government meetings.

Mr. Amendola said that the Italian business community is very satisfied with the business conditions in Serbia and that their interest in expanding business is noteworthy./ibna