"EU is not Europe without Serbia"
Serbia's outgoing Prime Minister Ivica Dačić met in Belgrade on Monday with Austrian Archduke Karl von Habsburg.Source: Tanjug
Better political dialogue and economic cooperation were in the interest of both countries, Dačić remarked.
"Dačić stated he was pleased that Austria was supporting Serbia's EU integration," the government said in a statement.
"History teaches us that the the relations between our countries should never again be based on conflict, but cooperation, because that is in the interest of the people Serbia and Austria," Dačić noted.
"The EU is not Europe without Serbia," Habsburg was quoted as saying and stressing that Austria's interest was to see Serbia as a member of the EU "as soon as possible."
Habsburg, 53, the grandson of Austria's last emperor Charles I, will stay in Serbia until Wednesday and hold lectures on EU integration in Belgrade and Novi Sad, Tanjug reported.
On Monday, he also touched on the upcoming 100th anniversary of start of the First World War, to say that it was "historically wrong to think that one country or one person" was to blame for its outbreak.
"The overall situation needs to be considered, the alliances that were made, and that there was readiness for conflict in almost all European countries."
Habsburg noted that the anniversary would be marked on June 28 because of the event in Sarajevo, but added he was convinced that even if the assassination never occurred the war would have started "a few weeks later, in some other place in Europe."
He believes that both world wars "must be considered as one whole," and said the efforts that came after it paved the way to the founding of the EU and "led to the longest period of peace on the continent."