Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for European integration Bozidar Djelic yesterday stated that Serbia will do all it can to secure the support of Germany and other EU states, not only in terms of acquiring candidate status, but also regarding the date for membership negotiations, which should be scheduled for spring 2012.
Following a meeting with Minister of State at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Werner Hoyer, Djelic stressed that Serbia does not see this as a reward or privilege, but as outcome of an ambitious reform plan which Serbia implemented, as well as the continuation of cooperation with the Hague tribunal and its role of a stability factor in the region.
Germany is Serbia’s largest trade partner and one of its major investors, and it will remain so in the future, he underlined, voicing his expectation that the recovery of the Serbian industry will be closely linked with Germany.
Djelic stressed that over the last seven years, Germany took advantage of the possibilities offered by new markets, such as India, adding that Serbia has a greater chance of entering these markets with Germany’s help than on its own.
Also, Germany is the biggest individual donor to Serbia with more than €900 million in the last ten years, Djelic underlined and voiced expectation that Serbia will work with Germany on many projects on the Danube strategy.
He also voiced satisfaction with the fact that the number of persons from Serbia seeking asylum in Germany dropped significantly.
Hoyer underlined that Germany strongly supports Serbia’s European perspective and that good neighbourly relations and cooperation are important for EU enlargement. He said that there can be no concessions on this path and that all conditions must be met.
Hoyer welcomed the arrest and extradition of Hague indictee Ratko Mladic, noting that in this way Serbia sent a clear signal on its path to the EU.
He reiterated the importance of economic cooperation of the two countries and added that Germany appreciates invitations to German companies to invest in Serbia.
To that end it is necessary to improve conditions for investment, increase transparency and achieve greater safety for investments, Hoyer concluded.