"EU put to test of respecting its own rules"
Tomislav Nikolić has said that the EU "will be put to a major test of respecting its own rules on June 28."Source: Tanjug
He also stated that "Serbia does not need charity," and has earned to be given a start of accession talks with the EU for its efforts.
"We belong in the European family. We want to organize the country in line with other European countries, and this process has been moving more slowly than it should have, but is now progressing at a normal pace," said the Serbian president after his meeting on Tuesday in Belgrade with Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader.
Nikolić stressed Serbia wants a realistic assessment of whether it has met, over the past year and the past ten years, the requirements fulfilled by other countries on the European path.
"They should tell us why we are not starting talks if we deserve it, or if we do not, what else we need to do. We will continue reforms regardless of the EU's position," said the Serbian president.
Serbia is in no hurry, because the EU accession process "is not for a year or two, but for eternity" and once the talks start, the opening and closing of every chapter and fulfillment of requirements will mean we have organized our state not only in accordance with European standards, but also our own wishes, he said.
Nikolić said Serbia did not rush in changing its system and conducting reforms in order to begin membership talks sooner, so it does not expect everything to move quickly once the talks start either.
"Things will move at the pace the EU deems fit," said Nikolić.
The final decision regarding the start of Serbia's accession talks with the EU will be made by the European Council on Friday, June 28.
Nikolić welcomed Ader in front of the Palace of Serbia, after which the two countries' national anthems were played.
Tuesday will also see meetings between the delegations of Serbia and Hungary, while Ader is scheduled to meet Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić following the meeting with Nikolić.
On Wednesday, the second day of his visit, the Hungarian president will address Serbian MPs at a special session convened by Parliament Speaker Nebojša Stefanović.
Hungary unreservedly supports Serbia's EU membership
Hungarian President Janos Ader said on Tuesday that his country "unreservedly supports Serbia's accession to the EU" and will put the position forward at the June 28 European Council meeting that will be deciding about giving Serbia a date for the start of accession talks.
Hungary unreservedly supports Serbia's accession to the EU, and it will state so on June 28, Ader said. Serbia can count on Hungary's support at the European Council meeting, he added at a joint press conference with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić in Belgrade.
Ader said that Serbia has done much in the previous year and over the past few months to see the negotiations with the EU begin.
I'm certainly counting on a positive decision by the European Council, said Ader, who is currently on a two-day visit to Belgrade.