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European Commission


Belgrade, 18 March 2013

Remarks by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy to the press after the meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić

''You can see from the high frequency of contacts between Belgrade and Brussels what importance we attach to Serbia and its European path. When I met President Nikolić last June for his inauguration, I said that the best tool to achieve the modernisation of Serbia is the European integration. It is still valid.

I also said that I look forward to working closely with the President and all Serbian institutions on the common objective of bringing Serbia not only closer to the EU, but into the EU. That is exactly on what we are working now.

Together with Cathy Ashton we support Serbia's aspirations and we want Serbia to succeed in its European efforts.

I know the question on your mind at this moment is: "will Serbia really get the date for starting the negotiations in June?" Well, the answer depends on the efforts in delivering on the reforms and on the one key priority: progress towards a visible and sustainable improvement of relations with Kosovo.

In this context I very much welcome the new dynamic in the dialogue between the Prime Ministers. The meeting of the Presidents in February was also a breakthrough. Hopefully significant results can be achieved.

Our Spring report is going to be published on 16 April, and will reflect latest developments in your reform efforts and latest agreements from the Dialogue. However, the work needs to continue beyond that – in some areas efforts even need to be intensified, particularly in judiciary, anti-corruption strategy, anti-discrimination, media freedom, or inclusion of vulnerable groups.

I will discuss this in more detail with the Prime Minister in just a few moments.''

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