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Brussels, 4 September 2012
Press statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle, following the meeting with Ivica Dačić, Prime Minister of Serbia
The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle and the new Prime Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić met today in Brussels to discuss Serbia's European Integration.
Prime Minister Dačić confirmed Serbia's ambition to open accession negotiations with the European Union as soon as possible. After the meeting, Commissioner Füle commented:
"We had a fruitful discussion and I encouraged Prime Minister Dačić in his objective and re-affirmed that the European Commission is eager to continue supporting Serbia's European Integration."
Commissioner Füle and Prime Minister Dačić discussed the key priority that Serbia needs to pursue towards achieving a visible and sustainable improvement of its relations with Kosovo*. Commissioner Füle emphasized that:
"Normalizing relations with Kosovo is the key for opening accession negotiations with Serbia. A sufficient degree of normalisation would ensure that both Serbia and Kosovo can continue their respective paths towards the EU and prevent them from blocking each other in these efforts. In this spirit, I welcomed the new instructions to Serbian diplomats regarding the regional representation of Kosovo. I also look forward to the smooth implementation of the existing agreements reached in the dialogue with Pristina. I also expressed my strong hope that the dialogue with Pristina would resume soon, creating a new dynamic that will further normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia."
Commissioner Füle and Prime Minister Dačić also discussed the need for the rule of law to be very high on the agenda, including the fight against corruption and organised crime and judicial reform. They acknowledged that Serbia also needs to tackle a very difficult economic situation for which improvement of the business environment and structural reforms in this field will be crucial.
Commissioner Füle concluded:
"I encourage the new government to build upon Serbia's past achievements as recorded in the Opinion, with regards to the stability and functioning of institutions, the protection of human rights and minorities. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Dačić and to supporting his efforts to implement his good intentions and to deliver the necessary results that will allow Serbia to make a decisive step forward on its path to the EU."