Region "needs money, not seminars" from EU - PM
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Albania on Thursday that "regional countries must work on joint infrastructure projects and seek support from the EU."Source: Tanjug
He was addressing "Tirana Talks" of the Vienna Economic Forum, where prime ministers of Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and also Kosovo are taking part.
Vucic spoke after Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to say that "the request for help and support from the European Union must be made together."
"If we can't get EU's help and support, we must try and do as much as we can alone together," he said.
"Finally we agreed on two important issues - a common goal for all of us, and that is the European path, and about the full membership in the EU. It cannot be expected tomorrow, there are plenty of things to do before it happens,"said Vucic.
"I suggested to Edi (Rama) and Milo (Djukanovic) to sign joint projects, to go to Brussels and ask for support for these projects, and if we don't get it we on the Serbian side will be ready to start financing them from our funds," he said.
Vucic added that "the state of the Serbian budget is better than before," and that Serbia is "ready for the integration processes in the Balkans."
Serbia, as he said, is also "ready to deal with concrete questions and have a joint presentation before the institutions in Brussels, but also to take steps alone to improve the lives of citizens and the connectedness of the region."
"Peoples will appreciate that extremely," said Vucic, adding that "the popularity of the European Union in Serbia is growing."
Enlargement fatigue is being mentioned, he remarked - but added that he "could not comment on that" because he is "no expert."
Taking part in a discussion during the same event on Thursday, Vucic said that "we need money from European funds," and added:
"We have had enough of seminars, we need money to build roads and railways. If you can't set aside funds then say so, we will find the means."
He added that "our people should not be underestimated because they expect concrete results."
The meeting in Tirana, the prime minister continued, represented "a cry of all its participants," and a call to the EU and the European Commission "to analyze the situation, consider it well, and properly evaluate - to help us better and more."
One of the forum's moderators, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, asked "what premieres of the region expect from the upcoming Summit on the Western Balkans," to be held in late August in Vienna, and Vucic replied that "citizens need something tangible, some concrete results."
He added that the most important projects in the region have been defined and agreed on during a meeting with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Brussels.
According to Vucic, the acceleration of European integration for all in the region is something that is very important for this part of Europe, because the Balkan region is still "vulnerable and faces many political and economic problems."
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama also stressed that expected he expected the Vienna gathering to provide "more attention and assistance from the EU."