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European Parliament President official visit to Serbia (31 January)

Press Release
Brussels
29-01-2018

European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani will pay an official visit to Serbia on 31 January.

Highlights include meetings with President of the National Assembly, Maja Gojković; Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić; President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia; and First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dačić.

In the morning, the President of the Parliament will deliver a speech to the EU Convent, a debating forum on Serbian accession, between representatives of governmental bodies, political parties, NGOs, experts, syndicates, private sector and representatives of professional organisations.

In the afternoon, President Tajani and President Vučić will open an event on Investment, Growth and Job Creation aimed at attracting business opportunities in the country and facilitating cooperation with EU entrepreneurs. The speakers include the President of Eurochambres, Christoph Leitl, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Dario Scannapieco, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Marko Čadež, the Minister of Economy, Goran Knežević and the Minister of European Integration, Jadranka Joksimović.

Ahead of the visit, the President commented:

“Serbia is part of Europe, not only through geography and history, but also by our common culture, identity and values. We share key political, security and economic interests. It is one of the frontrunners in attaining EU membership. Working together with conviction is essential for market integration that leads to prosperity and helps to increase security, manage migration flows and ensure stability of the region. 

My visit aims to underline the European Parliament’s strong support to this ongoing process. I’m convinced that the future of Serbia and its citizens is in the European Union. I welcome the country’s efforts in this direction and I am optimistic that it will be successful”.                                                               


Programme of the Visit:

Wednesday, 31 January:

09:00  Meeting with President of the National Assembly of Serbia, Maja Gojković
09:45  Press point
10:15  Speech to EU Convent,  a permanent forum to debate Serbian EU accession with political bodies and civil society
11:15  Meeting with Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić
14:00  Meeting with President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić
14:45  Press point
15:00  Business event on Investment, Growth and Job Creation
16:00  Signing ceremony
16:45  Meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Ivica Dačić
20:00 Dinner hosted by President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić,

Click here to follow audio-visual coverage of President Tajani’s visit to Serbia.
Click here for details on the business event on investment, growth and job creation.


Background
:

As one of the two frontrunners with a 2025 perspective for EU membership, Serbia is expected to deliver substantive progress on the rule of law and the normalisation of relations with Kosovo, as well as implement EU integration related action plans, legislation and constitutional reform. The European Commission will present a strategy for a successful EU accession of Serbia and Montenegro as frontrunner candidates in the Western Balkans on 6 February 2018.

The EU28-Western Balkans Summit will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria on 17 May 2018.

Since the opening of EU accession negotiations in January 2014: 12 out of 35 chapters have been opened, 2 provisionally closed. Serbia aims at closing all chapters by 2022.

Serbia has obtained very good results with macroeconomic stabilisation in 2017. Economic activity is forecast to continue to be driven by further export expansion and expected rising private investment, including Foreign Direct Investment (€2bn in 2017 or 6% of GDP).

EU support improved public finance management and public administration reform through sector budget support worth €80m. The European Commission just signed with the EIB a contract (worth €20m) to establish a guarantee facility for SMEs which should significantly reduce the interest rate in participating commercial banks.

Serbia successfully participates in several EU initiatives such as Erasmus+, COSME, Horizon2020, Creative Europe and is a successful recipient of EU investment grants under the “connectivity agenda”, whose main aim is building and connecting transport and energy infrastructure as a driver for growth and jobs in the region.

Click here for detailed information on EU financial assistance to Serbia.
Click here for the latest European Parliament resolution on Serbia.
Click here for the latest country progress by European Commission on accession negotiations.

For further information:

europarl.president.press@europarl.europa.eu

 

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