Belgrade, May 24, 2012
NIKOLIC FOR QUICK FORMING OF GOVT, EU PATH
BELGRADE, May 24 (Tanjug) Tomislav Nikolic Serbia's president elect, said Thursday in talks with Slovakia's Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak that he opted for a quick formation of government and insisted on the continuation of Serbia's EU pathway.
Lajcak, who is also an envoy of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, congratulated Nikolic for winning the presidential runoff and wished him all the best in performing his future duties, the statement said.
During the meeting, Nikolic said that a new Serbian government would have to get to grips with the problems the people in Serbia were facing as soon as possible.
He underlined that as the president of Serbia, he would insist in particular on the country's continuing down the EU path, reaching a consensus on the Kosovo Metohija issue, fighting corruption and crime, and would also offer any possible assistance to the government in providing new jobs.
Nikolic told his guest that his goal would be a stabilisation of the economic and social environment so that Serbia could become a normal and modern European country.
SANNINO: EU DOES NOT DOUBT NIKOLIC'S EU COMMITMENT
BRUSSELS, May 23 (Tanjug) - Director General of DG Enlargement of the European Commission Stefano Sannino stated on Wednesday that the EU has no reason to doubt the European commitment of the newlyelected president of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic and that Brussels is willing to cooperate with Nikolic and the new government.
Nikolic drew a convincing victory, the will of the people needs to be respected and this cannot be called into question, Sannino stated at a news briefing in Brussels.
He said that Brussels is willing to cooperate with Nikolic and the new government.
When asked whether the EU fears the process of the Belgrade Pristina dialogue would be brought into jeopardy, Sannino declined and added that the EU does not fear democracy.
He denied the speculation of certain media that the EU supports the constitution of a major coalition which would gather all proEuropean parties, including the Serbian Progressive Party.
We do not support any special coalition, be it small or big, Sannino said and added that the EU hopes the new government and political leaders would continue the country's EU path. He added that Serbia remains the EU's key partner in the region.
DELEVIC: EU EXPECTS TO SEE RESULTS OF NEW PRESIDENT, GOVT.
BELGRADE, May 23 (Tanjug) - Director of the European Integration Office Milica Delevic stated that the EU accepts the choice of Serbian citizens but it expects to see the results of the work done by the new president and government.
In an interview for the Belgradebased weekly Novi Magazin, Delevic recalled that just like in the case of the Srebrenica declaration, European laws did not win the support of the Serbian Progressive Party and its leader Tomislav Nikolic, which leaves room for doubt.
We will now see whether this was the result of their opposition status or their stand on the situation, Delevic said.
The results of the presidential elections are clear and parliamentary elections leave room for the possibility of different government combinations, Delevic said.
What the EU expects to see and what Serbian citizens are also interested in as they are waiting for the integration process to continue is the attitude every potential combination of parties in the government would take as regards the set conditions, Delevic explained and added that the conditions are clear and that the report on progress in the European integration would be released on October 10. For our part, we will offer answers and further progress would depend on this point, she said.
She recalled that the conditions refer to the further progress in the dialogue and normalisation of the Belgrade Pristina relations and continuation of the initiated reforms.
SERBIA COMMITTED TO EU PATH
BELGRADE, May 23 (Tanjug) - Serbia is clearly committed to the continuation of its EU path and this question should no longer be asked, president of the Research forum of the European Movement in Serbia Vladimir Pavicevic stated.
Opening the public debate on the future of Europe and the outlook from the Balkans which was organised by the European Movement in Serbia and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Pavicevic said that the organisations intend to open a debate on the ways Serbia can make faster progress on its EU path.
Croatian Ambassador in Serbia Zeljko Kupresak pointed out that he believes in the future of the EU although the Union is currently facing a crisis in the Eurozone.
He added that Croatia needs to develop as a European country and that it needs to meet two conditions in order to achieve this, that is to implement all the agreements reached in the talks with the EU and to help countries in the region make progress in the same direction with the same success.
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Dusko Lopandic said that the entire EU is asking questions about its own future which is why such a debate should be conducted in Serbia as well.
He added that this is not the first crisis in the EU and that it is a new type of crisis since it is both economic and institutional.
This crisis comes as a result of the wider crisis of the global economic system, and ever since 2004, the EU has been in some sort of crisis, such as the crisis of low economic growth, institution crisis or enlargement crisis, Lopandic stated.
He said that Serbia has demonstrated in the elections that it will remain on its EU path and that the most important thing for Serbia is for the process of EU enlargement to continue according to the principles which were valid up to now.
According to the scientific advisor of the Institute for European Studies Miroslav Prokopijevic, the EU has to find an answer to three key issues, that is, who will pay the accumulated debts, how fiscal discipline would be ensured and how the economies of the member countries would restore their competitiveness.
According to the Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation regional office Michael Erke, the nature of economic problems the EU is facing through the crisis of the Eurozone is not fiscal only.
The fiscal union is necessary but not sufficient, and we need an economic government as well, Erke said.
BROK: NIKOLIC TO TAKE "EU TEST"
FRANKFURT, May 24 (Tanjug) Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, expects that Tomislav Nikolic will be "a pragmatic" president.
"I think that most of us are not overjoyed that he (Nikolic) won, but he says that he has changed, that he advocates the EU. He is in the power now and we will check how he sees Serbia's EU integration," Brok told Vesti, a Frankfurtbased Serbian language daily.
Brok is also an influential member of the conservative Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) in Germany, close to the circles of Angela Merkel, the party's president and German Chancellor.
He pointed out that this means that it remains to be seen how Nikolic will meet the conditions for starting the EU talks, what the values he advocates are, how he addresses the issue of Kosovo, how he sees relations with neighbors and what kind of influence he has on the region.
Brok stressed that the test, that is the conditions for Serbia's EU accession, also includes regulating the situation in the country, above all when it comes to crime and corruption.
The power of oligarchs is also one of Serbia's internal political issues. Sometimes is seems as they are the ones who actually govern the country. We will see. Serbia is an important country with good prospects. We will see how its new government will look like, he said.
Asked whether he expects Nikolic to continue Tadic's orientation towards Kosovo, he noted that Tadic did not make great progress at all when it comes to Kosovo.
I believe that sometimes pragmatic politicians, especially conservatives, can do more, Brok said.
As for relations between Serbia and Russia, he said that he is not against good relations between Belgrade and Moscow, but added that politicians in Serbia cannot say that they will turn to Russia if the EU does not do certain things. This is not a path leading Serbia towards EU accession, Brok concluded.
DJUKANOVIC: OPEN FOR FULL COOPERATION WITH NIKOLIC
PODGORICA, May 24 (Tanjug) - Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) leader Milo Djukanovic has congratulated Tomislav Nikolic on being elected president of Serbia, adding that the DPS remains open to full cooperation in order to improve the relations between Podgorica and Belgrade.
Nikolic's election confirms the Serbian Progressive Party's significance on Serbia's political scene, Djukanovic said, the DPS stated.
According to Djukanovic, cooperation is not only in the best interest of Montenegro and Serbia, but the entire Western Balkans, because the countries of the region rely on each other a lot.
He believes Nikolic will help Serbia's quick economic and democratic development.
JOSIPOVIC FOR POLICY OF RECONCILIATION WITH SERBIA
ZAGREB, May 24 (Tanjug) Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has stated that, after Tomislav Nikolic's victory in presidential election in Serbia, he would like for the policy of reconciliation with Serbia to continue.
Relations between Croatia and Serbia will largely depend on whether Nikolic is ready to take up new, revised positions, Josipovic said, adding that it is not unusual that politicians and policies evolve.
TURKISH BUSINESSMEN WANT TO INVEST IN SERBIA
ISTANBUL, May 24 (Tanjug) - Turkish businessmen want to invest in Serbia and are especially interested in building shopping malls, and investing in apartment and office buildings, Tanjug learned from the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey TUSKON. Political relations between Serbia and Turkey have never been better, but economic cooperation is lagging behind, with only ten percent of the trade potential currently being exploited, said TUSKON Vice President Ahmet Ciger.
He said Turkish companies were very successful in the international market because they did quality work at competitive prices, adding they could also build road infrastructure in Serbia.
There are no particular obstacles to bigger economic cooperation, except the fact Turkish investors are not familiar enough with the Serbian market, but the country does offer a lot of investment opportunities, he said.
He noted that Serbia would probably become a fullfledged EU member country before Turkey, which Turkish textile, food and car parts industries could take advantage of, as the two countries have a free trade agreement.
In the two years since the agreement was signed, trade between the two countries has risen dramatically and keeps improving steadily, with Serbia's export/import coverage ratio reaching almost 50 percent in 2011.
Ciger said TUSKON would organize an event dubbed the World Trade Bridge between June 3 and 10, dedicated to civil engineering, construction material, furniture and the textile industry, which would also welcome seven companies from Serbia, through the Serbia International Trade Association, which connects Serbian and Turkish companies.
The unique event will bring together businessmen from 140 countries, from 1,500 foreign and 1,700 Turkish companies, Ciger said.
TUSKON connects over 160 business associations in Turkey with around 100,000 companies and business partners in 140 countries across the world.
Turkey is the world's 16th largest economy, which recoded an economic growth of eight percent in 2011 in the face of the global crisis.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
GUDELJEVIC: CUTS IN NUMBER OF EULEX OFFICIALS SOON
BELGRADE, May 23 (Tanjug) - EULEX Spokesman in Kosovo Irina Gudeljevic confirmed on Wednesday that the mission would reduce the number of its troops in the province this summer because, as she noted, the Kosovo institutions made certain progress and the new reality has to be recognised.
In an interview for Tanjug, Gudeljevic said that the cut in the number of EULEX troops would primarily be made in the area of the police and customs services but despite the progress in the sector, great challenges remain in the judiciary sector which will not change considerably.
According to her, the reduction of officials also refers to international and local staff.
Gudeljevic explained that reorganisation of EULEX and the mission's progress in the new stage come as the result of the granted strategic inspection of the mission by Brussels.
The Pristinabased daily Koha Ditore reported on Wednesday that the EU intends to reduce the number of its officials in the mission in Kosovo by 40 percent and that judges, prosecutors, investigators and other EULEX officials would receive considerably lower salaries in the time to come.
According to the release, this issue has been waiting for EULEX members to tackle it ever since June 15 when new agreements regarding the engagement in Kosovo should be signed, and the cut in the number of employees by around 40 percent implies they would be present in two regions in Kosovo, in the north and in Pristina.