Serbia belongs to the European family and therefore Brussels encourages Belgrade to continue with the reforms on the EU course, said Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Fuele in Belgrade, prior to the inauguration of the Serbian president. More from Sandra Pekić.
Tomislav Nikolić said, greeting Fuele, the first EU official that has visited Belgrade since the presidential elections, that Fuele was an official that has never politically sided with anyone, nor had interfered in the formation of the Serbian government. The two discussed the EU course of Serbia, the Belgrade-Pristina talks and the forthcoming visit to Brussels. The talks also touched on various security and economic issues in Kosmet that would improve the lives of citizens in a way acceptable for all.
Fuele said that the criteria stated clearly what is expected of Serbia for the commencement of EU accession talks – the continuation of reforms and a visible and sustainable progress in talks with Pristina. He said the EU expected Serbia to play an important part in the strengthening of regional cooperation and to lead the regional reconciliation process. Asked to comment on the recent statements of President Nikolic about Srebrenica Fuele said he had not come to Belgrade to analyze the words of the new president but to encourage him and the future Serbian government to continue with state and social reform, to realize progress in talks with Pristina and to curb corruption. He said that Serbia should form a government and continue with reforms as soon as possible if it wants to begin EU accession talks by the end of this year. Asked by the press about any additional requirements for the beginning of EU accession talks, such as the cancellation of parallel Serbian institutions in northern Kosmet, he said that all the conditions had been contained in five items harmonized by the Council of Europe, but that some of them referred to Serbian institutions.