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DAILY SURVEY 02.08.2017.
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SERBIA

JOKSIMOVIC, FRATTINI: SERBIA DESERVES TO BE PART OF EU

BELGRADE, 1 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic voiced her hope during a meeting with Italian Society for International Organization chief Franco Frattini that several chapters in the accession talks with the EU would be opened by the end of year, i.e. Chapters 6, 30 and 33. Said chapters pertain to the rights of companies, foreign economic relations and financial and budget provisions, a statement said. Frattini lauded the Serbian government's clear commitment to being a constructive partner to the EU. He added that Serbia had made many examples which showed that it deserved to be a member of the EU, and pledged that he would help it on its road to becoming a member in every way. Joksimovic and Frattini discussed the Serbia-EU relationship, Serbia's EU accession, the reforms it was carrying out, the situation in the region and other questions.

STEFANOVIC, FRATTINI ON SERBIA'S EU INTEGRATION, MIGRANT CRISIS

BELGRADE, 1 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic met on Aug. 1 with president of the Italian Society for International Organization Franco Frattini to discuss the migrant crisis and the process of Serbia's accession talks with the EU, with an emphasis on Chapter 24. The Ministry of Interior said in a statement that during the discussion Stefanovic and Frattini had agreed that progress in realizing the activities that were part of Chapter 24 posed a framework for realizing all reform processes where Serbia's accession to the EU was concerned. As part of an analysis of a second report on implementing an action plan for Chapter 24, the officials agreed that the level of fulfillment of activities envisaged in the action plan showed that the Ministry of Interior "is devoted to the European path and will continue to work on carrying out all activities." During a discussion of the EU's new policies in the area of migration and the degree of cooperation between Serbia and member states in the region, Stefanovic and Frattini voiced their expectations that during the Bulgarian chairmanship of the EU Belgrade would have the opportunity to talk to European Commission members about ways to include Serbia as a candidate country in different EU policies.

RUZIC, INDIAN AMBASSADOR ON TRAINING SERBIAN CIVIL SERVANTS

BELGRADE, 1 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Branko Ruzic on Aug. 1 talked with Indian Ambassador Narinder Chauhan about the ways in which the two countries could cooperate in the further training of Serbian civil servants. Ruzic said that the strengthening of cooperation between Serbia and India was very important, because India had projects for increasing capacities and improving various skills. Chauhan said the facilities in question were training centers financed wholly by the Indian government, which were also available to Serbian civil servants.

LJAJIC: SERBIA WILL ASK EC TO REVIEW CROATIA'S DECISION ON IMPORT BARRIERS

BELGRADE, 1 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbia will ask the European Commission to review Croatia's decision on non-customs barriers to agricultural imports from Serbia and other non-EU countries, Serbian Minister of Trade Rasim Ljajic said on Aug. 1. He told BETA that with this decision Croatia was violating Serbia's Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU. "This is obviously a drastic violation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Serbia and the European Union by Croatia, specifically in Article 36, paragraph 1, which states that as of the date of the Agreement's coming into force no new customs or levies of equal effect shall be introduced, and existing ones shall not be increased," said Ljajic. He announced that Serbia would contact the countries in the region that had also been affected by the Croatian measure, in order to jointly address the European Commission for the sake of protecting economic interests. Ljajic also said that certain measures pertaining to intensified phytosanitary oversight were already being carried out in relation to Croatia's decision. "Croatia's decision is also a drastic violation of the rules and principles of the World Trade Organization, which state that there must be no discrimination between domestic and imported products where levies are concerned," Ljajic underscored. According to him, Serbia does not want to engage in a trade conflict with Croatia, "because it is not in the interest of either country." "It would be best if we resolved this matter bilaterally, but if that is not possible then we will internationalize the problem and seek solutions within the European Commission," said Ljajic. Croatia has extended the list of fruit and vegetables that have to undergo phytosanitary surveillance at the border if coming from third countries, including Serbia, and set fees 22 times higher than previous ones. Thus the fee is now HRK2,000 (EUR270), instead of the previous HRK90 (EUR12). The Croatian authorities justified the decision with their intention of protecting domestic farmers from excessive imports.

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