"January formal start, talks ongoing since June"

BELGRADE -- Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić has said that January 21 will be a ceremonial moment and the symbolic start of membership negotiations with the EU.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

But the talks have been ongoing "since June," he said.

The minister told Pink TV that "entire teams are leaving for Brussels, and preparations are being made."

"We'll meet on that day and some new thing will not be born after the conference, rather we will just go into a process that needs to flow inexorably to the goal that we have chosen," said Mrkić.

He added that in 2014, "we can expect a stronger economy so that our people can live better."

Other things to be expected, according to the minister, are "more employment, and everyone putting themselves in the service, as much as they can, so that our youth is not leaving the country but staying here, strengthening our Serbia."

Mrkić stressed that Serbia has talented people and the required capacity, "which only needs to be kick-started," and expressed confidence that 2014 "will be crucial in this respect."