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European Commission


Brussels, 25 April 2013

In Serbia appreciating courageous decisions on EU future

Statement by Commissioner for enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle before the working dinner with the Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić in Belgarade:

''I am glad to be in Belgrade again only one month after my previous visit.

I am here to congratulate you on what you have achieved lately on your European path, to express our appreciation and support and also to encourage you to maintain the degree of commitment, determination and vision shown when making decisions important for the future of Serbia in the European family.

I am Belgrade only one week after the historical step made in the dialogue with Pristina and just a few days after our recommendation to start the accession negotiations with Serbia. Our report on this was well received by the Member States who highly appreciated Prime Minister's determination in the dialogue. So my visit today and tomorrow marks a new level of our engagement with Serbia.

Now we are going to discuss next steps, including the effective implementation of the deal, and also to focus on issues related to reform steps, in particular in the area of the rule of law. Tomorrow at the conference organised jointly with the Council of Europe I will talk about the importance of the reforms in this area such as reform of the judiciary, guaranteeing its independence and fighting against corruption.

Mr Prime Minister, these have been not easy weeks for Serbia and its citizens and I wanted through you to thank all citizens of Serbia for being part of the new European history. It was a very special week not only for you in Serbia, but also for the EU and for me personally.''

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