Western Balkans "region of peace and stability"

Ivica Dačić stated on Thursday that the Western Balkans is a region of peace and stability looking forward to prompt EU accession.

Source: Tanjug

During the Conference on the Western Balkans in Berlin, Serbia's foreign minister said that the EU's new approach, according to which Chapters 23 and 24 on rule of law and fight against corruption would be opened at the very beginning of the negotiating process, serve the best interests of candidate countries.

European integration is the most efficient and fastest way to achieve the high standards in the areas which are essential for a comprehensive development of the state and society, as well as economic growth and social prosperity, he said, according to an MFA statement.

Serbia's priorities are embodied in the establishment of a legal state and rule of law, which are at the same time the prerequisites for attracting foreign investments and activating small and mid-size entrepreneurship in the country.

Dačić underscored that the National Strategy of Judiciary Reform and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy were adopted in 2013, which provide detailed definitions of all the measures and deadlines for implementation.

He said that efforts need to be invested so that legal frameworks and law implementation could be improved to attract potential investors, and so that a culture with a zero degree of tolerance for corruption could be established.

When it comes to the improvement of legislative procedures in the areas, Dačić said that EU assistance is important for Serbia, as well as the bilateral assistance and support of countries such as Germany.

Dačić said that Serbia does not expect the EU to relax the membership conditions and is willing to deepen the cooperation with a view to accelerating the region's European integration both for those who made greater progress on their EU paths than Serbia and for those who are yet to take important steps on the path.

"We consider it important for everyone to make progress on their EU path in keeping with their own merits, without imposed equalisation of the accession pace," Dačić said addressing the ministerial panel entitled, "Economic management and EU accession."

"All countries want to join"

All Western Balkan countries want to become members of the EU, which can be an alleviating factor for all tensions and problems in the Balkans, Ivica Dačić stated ahead of the gathering on Thursday.

He expressed the hope that the dialogue with Priština would continue soon and added that he does not expect any pressures to be exerted during the meeting of the delegations of Germany and Serbia concerning Serbia's stand on the crisis in Ukraine.

Serbia is concerned about the situation in Ukraine, and further developments of the political climate in Ukraine will depend on potential risks of conflict escalation and the success of efforts to restore peace, Dačić said.

Serbia supports Ukraine's territorial integrity, Dačić reiterated and added that he believes conflicts need to end. Nevertheless, he noted that Serbia did not introduce sanctions against Russia because of its national economic interests.

He recalled that the situation in Ukraine would be discussed during the third meeting within the Conference on the Western Balkans and added that he discussed the matter with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić early on Thursday.

We want the clashes to stop so that a dialogue can be launched and international institutions such as OSCE could complete their role in supervision of the situation, especially when it comes to the two countries' border issues and improvement of humanitarian situation, Dačić said.

He noted that Serbia will hold OSCE presidency in 2015, which is why its role in this respect will be a special challenge.

"When Serbia was granted co-presidency with Switzerland several years ago, nobody could have guessed that Ukraine would turn into one of the hot spots of global crisis," which is why Dačić announced that conflicts in the region would be discussed already at the first meeting, when Serbia will voice it commitment to the role of a constructive factor contributing to peace and stability.

In this context, we are eager to see the dialogue with Prisština in Brussels continue, and we expect the Brussels agreement to be fully implemented, especially the part that bears the greatest importance for Serbia, that is the constitution of the community of Serb municipalities, Dačić said.

This part of the dialogue was not conducted on top levels in the past months, which is the consequence of the relations in Priština and the delay in the constitution of local institutions, Dačić said.


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Politics Thursday, August 28, 2014 15:06 Comments: 3
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