EU membership "historic chance, won't happen soon"

DUBROVNIK -- President Tomislav Nikolić said in Croatia on Tuesday that Serbia has a historic chance to become a member of the EU within a reasonable period of time.

Nikolić (C) is seen with Borut Pahor and Ivo Josipović (Tanjug)
Nikolić (C) is seen with Borut Pahor and Ivo Josipović (Tanjug)

In a statement for reporters upon the conclusion of the annual summit of the leaders in the Brdo-Brijuni process in Dubrovnik, Nikolić said that Serbian citizens should not be overly optimistic concerning the deadlines for this, adding that Serbia will need quite a few years to fully access the EU.

Still, we will not spend the years simply waiting and instead, the country will be regulated according to the merits of every citizen and in keeping with the EU legislature, Nikolić said.

The meeting in Dubrovnik is a continuation of the positive initiative launched in 2013 under the auspices of French President Francois Hollande. The patron of the 2014 meeting on Tuesday was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nikolić said.

The next year's meeting place is yet to be established, Nikolić said and noted that Serbia is not ready to host the gathering yet.

The idea to stage gatherings of the kind is positive as it contributes to creation of an atmosphere of cooperation among the countries in the region, where those that are already EU members strive to help other countries on their EU paths, he said.

Nikolić reiterated that Serbia is committed to the EU accession process but at the same time cannot leave aside the friendships and other interests of the country.

The Serbian president noted that the EU is conducting negotiations with the Priština administration and that Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence. All the same, talks are being conducted and agreements are being carried out to the greatest possible extent so that all Serbian citizens may live better, he noted.

He said that he spoke openly at the gathering because he believes the EU is a community of people who speak their mind freely and openly.