Daily Survey

Belgrade, August 15, 2012

SERBIA

MAAS: SERBIA'S EU PATH BEYOND QUESTION

BELGRADE, August 14 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic received outgoing German Ambassador to Serbia Wolfram Maas who said during his farewell visit that his country backs Serbia's efforts to become a fullfledged member of the EU, underlining that Serbia's EU road is now beyond question.
The German ambassador expressed wish for further improvement in relations between the two countries, placing a special emphasis on Germany's interest in cooperation in the field of energy, the president's press service released.
He informed President Nikolic that Germany stands ready to invest new funds in joint projects with Serbia, the release adds. "Ambassador Maas has added that Germany backs Serbia's efforts to become a fullfledged member of the EU, underlining that Serbia's EU road is now beyond question," the release reads.
Serbian President thanked Maas for the efforts he had put in strengthening the strategic partnership between Serbia and Germany, and noted that Germany had realized a significant number of investments in our country.
Nikolic underscored the importance of prospects for cooperation between the two countries, and stressed that on its EU path, Serbia counts on Germany's full support.

NIKOLIC: TALKS WITH PRISTINA TO BE RAISED TO HIGHER LEVEL

BELGRADE, August 14 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic stated Tuesday in the talks with Austrian Ambassador Clemens Koja that the Belgrade Pristina talks will be taken to a higher level, and that the new negotiating team will take over full responsibility for further resolution of the situation in Kosovo Metohija.
Ambassador Koja expressed support for Serbia's efforts to continue the negotiating process with representatives of the interim authorities in Pristina, reads a release by the president's press service.
Nikolic received a farewell visit from Ambassador Koja, who voiced belief that Serbia has future in the European Union and supported Belgrade's efforts to continue talks with Pristina.
The Austrian ambassador also pointed to historical ties between Europe and Serbia, and added that Austria will keep supporting reforms on Serbia's EU path, says a statement by Nikolic's press service.
Nikolic also wished the ambassador success in his further professional engagement.

SUCCESSFUL UNGA PRESIDENCY IN SERBIA'S INTEREST

BELGRADE, August 14 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivica Dacic stated on Tuesday that it is in Serbia's interest for Vuk Jeremic to successfully chair the UN General Assembly (UNGA), affirming that he will have the Serbian government's logistics support in the process.
At a press conference following the meeting with Jeremic who will officially take over the office of the UNGA chairman in two or three weeks, Dacic stressed that reasons grounded in Serbia's interior policy cannot harm the country's interests, and added that successful presidency over the UNGA is in Serbia's interest. It is an honour for any country to hold such a position, Dacic said.
The decisions which the government adopted with regard to Serbia's forthcoming presidency over UNGA will round off the unpleasant situation which arose in one part of the public over the past few weeks, he stated. We were faced with a situation in which the UN secretary general spoke better about the issue than any Serbian official did, the prime minister said.
Dacic said that Jeremic and his team will have the necessary logistics support, stressing that they should all strive to enhance Serbia's image. Speaking about the logistics support of the Serbian government since the office which was supposed to provide the support has closed, Dacic said that it has been redefined and will be provided through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After analysing the situation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we concluded that there is no need for a special office and that these matters can be settled through the Foreign Ministry, in line with the budget we deem appropriate, bearing in mind the situation Serbia is in, the prime minister explained. He also stated that the assistance was not abolished and that its form has been merely changed.
Dacic also underlined that the Serbian government will not interfere with Jeremic's chairmanship. Dacic and Jeremic stressed that they would be very pleased if the fundamental principles of the UN Charter are respected, including the principle of the respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The prime minister said that Serbia does not wish to impose any special topics because the chairman comes from Serbia but it is certain that one of the most painful and most difficult topics covers the Kosovo Metohija issue, Dacic said and recalled that he pointed out on several occasions, together with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, that they want to see the issue resolved as soon as possible. This means that we are ready to take part in the work of UNGA if the topic is included in the agenda, Dacic said.
Jeremic said that one of the main topics of the 67th presidency over UNGA would cover the resolution and prevention of conflicts through peaceful means, with the respect for the UN Charter. He expressed belief that Serbia would show that it deserves the trust invested in it.
He observed that one of the main UN principles is for all members to be equal and have the right to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity which is in the interest of all UN members, including Serbia, which consider the respect for international law and the UN Charter a priority.

ENERGY MINISTER MEETS RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR

BELGRADE, August 14 (Tanjug) - Minister of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection Zorana Mihajlovic talked on Tuesday with Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Konuzin about the energy cooperation between the two states.
The Ministry said in a statement that the meeting mostly focused on ways of enhancing cooperation in this area. Mihajlovic reiterated that Russia is a serious and desirable partner primarily in terms of cooperation in the energy sector, as well as in reaching the level of energy safety for Serbia.
Their talks also concerned the projects of constructing the South Stream gas pipeline and Banatski Dvor underground gas storage facility.
Mihajlovic stressed that her Ministry will strive to help Serbia attain a better position in the continuation of cooperation and to efficiently realise the plans in energy and environmental protection that have already been launched. She also noted that the energy and investment cooperation between the two countries may be further expanded, the statement adds.

FUELE: I HAVE NO DOUBTS IN SERBIAN GOVERNMENT

BRUSSELS, August 14 (Tanjug) - EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele stated Tuesday that he has no doubts that the beginning of the EU accession talks will be a priority of the new Serbian government, stressing that progress in relations with Pristina is necessary for the opening of the talks.
In an interview for European Union Information Website EurActiv, Fuele said that the end of the EU enlargement process would be an enormous mistake, adding that he is certain that Serbia will improve relations with Kosovo, which he qualified as fundamental issue that stands in the way to the opening of accession negotiations.
The new government is now in place and I have no doubts that the fixing of the date for opening accession negotiations will be one of its first priorities, Fuele said, noting that in December 2011 the European Council approved a number of specific measures that Serbia needs to implement.
The December conclusions of the Council read that Serbia should continue the dialogue with Pristina and normalize relations with Kosovo in order to get a date for the beginning of the talks, and the Council will decide on the issue again at a summit at the end of 2012.
Fuele also expressed optimism in terms of the EU perspective of all Western Balkan countries, particularly Croatia and Montenegro, which made the greatest progress on the EU path.
Croatia is expected to formally join the EU next year, while Montenegro was approved a date for the beginning of the EU accession talks early this summer.
There is no reform fatigue just as there is no enlargement fatigue among the member states, as it is mistakenly reported in the media. The example of Montenegro is valid in this context, Fuele said for EurActiv.
There are nine countries which want to become EU members, and this is what I personally view as the most important proof of their trust in the Union, he added.
The European Commissioner admitted that at the moment the EU has serious problems, Fuele said, but added that it would be wrong if the EU looked only to the inside of its own organization, neglect its neighbors, and stop its enlargement process.
That would be an enormous mistake, and the EU would pay for that, Fuele underlined.