Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic and British Minister for European Affairs David Lidington agreed in Brussels that the European integration of Western Balkan countries should not be discontinued after Croatia joins the EU, and agreed that there must be no shortcuts on that road.
Djelic told reporters after meeting with Lidington that it was Lidington who on behalf of the UK government argued that British Parliament should ratify the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia.
He said that Serbia would like to get the approval of Great Britain regarding the membership status for Serbia in December when the EU Council will be in session.
Djelic expressed his understanding for the UK visa policy towards Serbia, adding that he plans to visit London and asks for visa liberalisation from Britain.
Lidington said that the UK government strongly supports EU enlargement and wants Serbia to make progress towards full membership as soon as possible.
He conveyed the support of the United Kingdom to the necessary reforms in Serbia.
The EU accession of the Western Balkans is not a matter of timeframe, but what is important is fulfillment of the reforms demanded by the European Commission, he stated.
The UK Minister for European Affairs pointed out that Serbia now needs to implement an ambitious economic, judicial and administrative reforms.
We think that all Western Balkan countries wishing to join the Union should be allowed to join, but based on strict criteria. We support Serbia in doing that, wishing it to be successful, said Lidington.
Source Serbian Government.