The European Commission report on Serbia’s progress towards the EU is “realistic to a high degree and is seriously composed.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said this on Wednesday, according to the Serbian government.
He at the same time “emphasized that for us is very important that in almost all chapters recorded progress.”
Speaking during a joint press conference with Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport, Vucic said it was “important that our political role in the region and in the migrant crisis was highly assessed, and what is most important for us is that the EU, the IMF and the World Bank recognize our economic progress and growth.”
He said that he does not have to agree with everything that is written in the report, but reiterated that Serbia remains on the European path and wants to be part of European society, noting that we will persevere in this struggle because we want the economy to progress.
Davenport said that Serbia has recorded sustained progress towards the EU, which led to the opening of the first four chapters, which confirms Serbia’s strategic goal to come closer to the Union.
After he handed the latest European Commission report on Serbia’s progress to Vucic, Davenport praised our country for keeping its promises.
“That confirms the strategic goal of Serbia to move closer to the EU,” he said and pointed to the fact that the EU keeps its promises.
Devenport particularly praised the efforts to arrange the public sector, support the economy in the form of ambitious reforms, the arrival of foreign investors, which is supported by the reforms in the rule of law and creating a better business environment.
The European Union, he said, is the largest partner in terms of investments and soft loans, he said noting that the EU also invests in youth and Serbia and helps them study abroad.
Davenport also recalled that Serbia had a constructive role in solving the migrant crisis, and announced that soon he and Minister for Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin will sign an agreement on additional financial assistance of the EU.
He “stressed that the EU will support reforms in Serbia concerning the fight against organized crime, and added that the EU will stand by Serbia not only in good, but also in difficult times,” the Serbian government said on its website.
Tanjug is reporting that Davenport said he expected new chapters in Serbia’s EU accession talks to be opened by the end of the year.
“We are looking forward to seeing the opening of further chapters before the end of this year, and I am sure that that will lead to greater momentum also in 2017,” he said at a press conference in the Serbian government building.
“The European Commission has recommended to member states the opening of an additional chapter, which is Chapter 5, which relates to public procurement – a very important chapter for all sorts of reasons,” he said.
“It is now for all member states, as is always the case with each chapter, to agree to the opening,” Davenport said.
European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister on Wednesday praised Serbia’s progress and, in particular, its government and PM Aleksandar Vucic for the reforms undertaken, especially in the economy.
Vucic and his government have taken significant steps, achieving success in job creation and encouraging economic growth, McAllister told the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, noting that significant reforms that had helped strengthen the business environment and framework had been carried out.
Serbia has maintained a positive approach in dealing with the migrant crisis, McAllister said, commending Serbia’s contribution to regional stability and reconciliation.
He also expressed confidence the European Commission’s Serbia Progress Report, to be presented later in the day, was a message that enlargement remained high on the EU agenda./IBNA