Brussels,25 October 2001
Commissioner Patten to visit Belgrade
European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will visit Belgrade on 25 - 26 October 2001. During his visit, Commissioner Patten will meet with Federal President Vojislav Kostunica, Federal Deputy Prime Minister Miroljub Labus, Federal Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and Serbian Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Goran Pitic.
The Commissioner will also visit projects which have received EC assistance, including a farm in the Belgrade suburb of Surcin which is benefiting from the delivery of mineral fertiliser and the "Dunav" textile factory in Grocka which will receive a EUR 200,000 loan from the EU credit line for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Serbia.
On Friday, together with Federal Deputy Prime Minister Labus and Serbian Foreign Economic Relations Minister Goran Pitic, the Commissioner will inaugurate an EC-funded Policy and Legal Advice Centre. This Centre marks the development in EC assistance from emergency help to also include longer-term, reform-oriented advice and support for EU-compatible reforms, as part of the process of drawing the FRY closer to the EU.
The visit of Commissioner Patten comes exactly a year after his first visit following the events of 5 October 2000 and on the eve of democratic changes in Serbia, a visit which had signalled the normalisation of relations between the European Community and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
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