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DAILY SURVEY 31.07.2017.
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SERBIA

DACIC, STEFANOVIC ON OPPOSING KOSOVO'S EFFORTS TO JOIN INTERPOL

BELGRADE, 28 July 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic and Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic on July 28 talked about the continuation of coordinated efforts to oppose Kosovo's aim to become a member of Interpol and agreed to additionally intensify cooperation between the two ministries to that end. "The activities carried out so far have been reviewed and possibilities considered for further action in this matter [which is] of special importance in the context of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Serbia and opposing Kosovo's unilateral attempts at joining international organizations, which would violate the U.N. Charter and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, reads a press release. Dacic and Stefanovic also discussed their ministries' operative and technical cooperation and reaching agreements with certain states on lifting visas.

FABRIZI TALKS SERBIA'S EUROPEAN PATH WITH STATE OFFICIALS

BELGRADE, 28 July 2017 (Beta) - The new head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, spoke on July 28 with Serbian officials about the country's further European integration, the reforms being carried out to that end and the situation in the region. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic in a meeting with Fabrizi said that the Serbian citizens' future lay in the EU and that her cabinet would continue to actively work on bringing the country closer to the Union as quickly as possible. According to a government press release, during the meeting with Fabrizi the prime minister said she would continue to advocate regional cooperation and stability, the fostering of European values and Serbia's further economic recovery so that it could become an equal member of the EU. The new EU Delegation chief said that Serbia was a "welcome" partner to the Union and underscored that he would keep supporting political and economic reforms and work on accelerating Serbia's European path.
At a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic, the interlocutors pointed out that membership in the Union remained Serbia's foreign policy priority. They also concurred on the importance of honest and open relations between the two partners, both in terms of membership negotiations and political dialog, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Fabrizi handed Dacic an invitation from EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini for participation in an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, to take place in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sept. 7 and 8.
Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic talked with Fabrizi about relations and cooperation between Serbia and the EU, reforms and the region. Stressing that the essence of his activities was to make Serbia's road to the EU more efficient, Fabrizi said that the EU respected Serbia's constructive role in the region. "Fabrizi highlighted the importance of continuing reforms, especially in the rule of law. He also said that Serbia's European prospects were good, as were the country's macroeconomic indicators. Fabrizi added that he was confident that Serbia's hitherto dynamic of accession to the EU would continue," reads a statement. The EU Delegation head confirmed that the Union would support Serbia in the accession process and added that Serbia was a reliable partner to the EU, as particularly "confirmed during the migrant crisis and through Serbia's role in preserving regional stability," adds the statement.

BRNABIC: SERBIA MOVING TOWARD EU, CHANGING QUICKLY, HAS NO TIME TO LOSE

BELGRADE, 28 July 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has stated that Serbia was a "country with no time to lose," which is changing quickly and moving toward the European Union, which is why reforms in the area of rule of law will be the focus of her cabinet. "Serbia is changing and changing fast, and if you will, I am part of that change, but I do not want to be branded 'Serbia's gay PM'. The message we need to send is about competence, professionalism and trustworthiness," Brnabic told the British Guardian in her first interview with a foreign publication since taking office. Brnabic reiterated that Serbia's strategic goal was EU membership, but that this did not entail abandoning its traditional friendship with Russia. "Without any shadow of doubt, the EU is where we are going. Our relationship with Russia is deep, it is historically deep, it is in our tradition and in our religion... We have never been asked to choose either or," Brnabic said. The Serbian PM stressed the continuity of her cabinet and her predecessor's, now Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, noting that the priority were administrative changes and reforms in the rule of law. "We spent the first three years focusing on the economy, mostly turning the Titanic away from the iceberg of bankruptcy," she said. "If we do not have rule of law and effective and transparent judiciary, everything else will start crumbling down." She also said she was not planning to insist on changes to legislation to benefit the LGBT population. "The reason why I am not focused on that now is because I deeply, truly believe Serbia will be a more tolerant society once people have jobs, better paid jobs, do not have to care about their own livelihood, or the future of their own children, and do not have to worry about two or three generations living in the same flat," Brnabic told the Guardian. She also stated that she did not "think Serbia is that homophobic" and that Serbian citizens "have a right not to be portrayed by a loud minority."

STEFANOVIC, LI MANCHANG: INCREASINGLY INTENSIVE COOPERATION BETWEEN SERBIA, CHINA

BELGRADE, 28 July 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic talked on July 28 with Chinese Ambassador Li Manchang on enhancing cooperation in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. Li gave Stefanovic a manual scanner for the detection of explosives, which will help make the work of the criminal and border police more efficient, the Ministry said in a statement. Stefanovic said that the number of Chinese nationals who had visited Serbia was growing, while the ambassador said that Chinese citizens felt safe in Serbia, the statement said. Stefanovic and Li concluded that cooperation between Serbia and China was more and more intensively.

ECONOMY

VUCIC: LEONI BECOMES BIGGEST EMPLOYER IN SERBIA

BELGRADE, 28 July 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on July 29 that the Leoni factory had become the biggest employer in Serbia, with 5,700 people employed in Prokuplje and Doljevac, and another 2,200 to be employed in Nis, where he had earlier that day attended the launch of production. Holding freshly manufactured cables off the assembly line, Vucic said that Leoni's Nis factory currently counted 150 employees and added that he could not believe the job would be done so soon, recalling that the cornerstone for the factory was laid on Feb. 24, 2017. "Germany is becoming our biggest foreign trade partner, the only country with which we exceed four billion euros in trade," he underscored. According to him, German investors employ more than 35,000 people in Serbia, and that number is growing on a daily basis. He also said he expected that Leoni would open a fourth factory in Serbia.

AGREEMENT SIGNED, CORNERSTONE LAID FOR ZUMTOBEL FACTORY

BELGRADE, 28 July 2017 (Beta) - Representatives of the Serbian government and Austrian Zumtobel on July 28 penned a contract on the construction of a company factory in Nis, while a cornerstone for the new facility was laid at the site of the former Viticulture Institute. The cornerstone was laid by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Zumtoble Group CEO Ulrich Schumacher, Austrian Ambassador to Serbia Johannes Eigner and Nis Mayor Darko Bulatovic. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Zumtobel would build a factory hall spanning 40,000 square meters, in which production would be launched in May 2018. "Zumtobel is the icing on the cake. The best thing we have managed to bring to Nis," said Vucic and added that Zumtobel's products were the Mercedes of the lighting sector. Zumtobel Group CEO Ulrich Schumacher said the company's investment in Nis was a long-term one and would be the foundation stone of their manufacturing network. "Nis is a big intersection of many important roads. It has a long tradition of industry. We believe that it will develop very dynamically in the coming years," he said. Austrian Ambassador Johannes Eigner said the new project confirmed the extremely good ties between Austria and Serbia. He said that Zumtobel was joining a group of 100 Austrian companies already doing business in Serbia.

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