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DAILY SURVEY 07.05.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC THANKS NEPAL FOR SUPPORT OVER KOSOVO ISSUE

BELGRADE, 6. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic thanked Nepal on May 6 for the country's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. At a meeting with the Nepalese prime minister, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Dacic notified his host of the current situation in Kosovo, and the importance of that territory to Serbia. The Serbian foreign minister said he hoped that Belgrade and Kathmandu would continue to work together to protect the principles of international law, the Serbian ministry went on to say in a press release. Prime Minister Oli said that his country was opposed to separatism, describing Nepalese and Serbian ties as very good and friendly. Minister Dacic said he expected more top-level visits to come.

VUCIC IN ISTANBUL: ERDOGAN HAS CONTRIBUTED MUCH TO SERBIA-TURKEY RELATIONS

ISTANBUL, 6. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in Istanbul, on May 6 that the credit for the very good relations between Serbia and Turkey belonged to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and invited Turkish companies to continue to invest in Serbia. "The largest portion of what we achieved, we achieved thanks to the enormous effort, labor, energy and desire of President Erdogan to establish these ties," Vucic told the Serbia-Turkey Business Forum where Erdogan also spoke. He said that Serbia and Turkey could not establish "relations as good as these" for many years, and added that the welcome he received from Erdogan meant a lot to Serbia. Vucic said Serbia and Turkey had increased their trade by a factor of nine over the past decade, and that it had risen more than fourfold since a free trade deal was signed. He said Erdogan had set the ambitious task that Serbia and Turkey should triple their current trade, and went on to say that this was possible because there was "a particular respect for Turkey and a particular respect for President Erdogan" in Serbia. President Vucic arrived in Turkey for a two-day visit earlier on May 6. His Turkish counterpart met him at the Istanbul airport. During his visit, Vucic will take part in the first session of the High Cooperation Council of Serbia and Turkey, which was founded when Erdogan visited Serbia in October 2017. The Serbian president will spend May 7 in Ankara, where he is slated to have separate meetings with Erdogan and Turkish parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman. The Serbian delegation included deputy prime ministers Zorana Mihajlovic, Nebojsa Stefanovic and Rasim Ljajic, and ministers Aleksandar Antic and Branislav Nedimovic.

BRNABIC: SERBIAN GOVERNMENT CREATES COORDINATING BODY TO DEAL WITH GRECO RECOMMENDATIONS

BELGRADE, 4. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on May 4 that the Serbian government had set up a coordinating body to handle recommendations for Serbia by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). "We are taking very seriously recommendations from the Council of Europe and other institutions," the Serbian prime minister said in a speech in Belgrade City Hall. The Council of Europe has launched non-compliance procedures against Serbia and another eight states for their "dissatisfactory" implementation of recommendations as to how to prevent corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors. The recommendations from GRECO which operates in the purview of the Council of Europe, are listed in an annual report that claims that these states have actually taken a step back in fighting corruption. Apart from Serbia, non-compliance procedures have been launched against Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey.

KUBUROVIC DISCUSSES JUDICIAL COOPERATION WITH FRENCH AMBASSADOR

BELGRADE, 4. May 2018 (Beta) - At a May 4 meeting in Belgrade, Serbian Justice Minister Nela Kuburovic discussed with French ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni judicial cooperation between the two states and overall bilateral relations, according to a press release from Kuburovic's office. The justice ministry quoted the ambassador as saying that his country was offering full support to Serbia in the EU accession process, adding that the two states had established excellent cooperation between the two judicial sectors. Minister Kuburovic underlined France's huge support for the incorporation of the notarial profession into Serbia's legal system in 2014, adding that French notaries were continuing to support their Serbian peers through training programs. The French ambassador praised Serbia's efforts to secure the independence of the judiciary, adding that the Venice Commission's opinion would play an important role in the upcoming Serbian constitutional change. The Serbian justice minister noted that the amendments to the Serbian constitution had been prepared for the benefit of all citizens and not just to meet the requirements listed in Serbia's Action Plan for Chapter 23 to bolster judicial independence. The minister was also quoted by her ministry as saying that the constitutional reform had to produce an independent and unbiased yet accountable judiciary.

ECONOMY

MEMORANDUM SIGNED ON BELGRADE-SARAJEVO HIGHWAY

ISTANBUL, 6. May 2018 (Beta) - During a Turkish-Serbian business forum in Istanbul, on May 6, Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Turkish construction outfit "Tasyapi", part of which has to do with building a highway from Belgrade to Sarajevo. Based on this document, the Turkish company must draft technical and financial proposals for several infrastructure projects in Serbia. "These are the overhaul of the Novi Pazar-Tutin and Aljinovici-Sjenica-Novi Pazar regional roads, and building both sections of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway located in Serbia -- from Kuzmin to Sremska Raca and from Pozega to Kotroman, that is, the border with [Bosnia and Herzegovina]," reads a press release from the Construction Ministry. According to the statement, a special working group of the Serbian cabinet will decide on the proposals. Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic is part of a state delegation spearheaded by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic which arrived in Turkey for a two-day visit on May 6.

FABRIZI: NEXT EU BUDGET IS GOOD FOR SERBIA, WESTERN BALKANS

BELGRADE, 4. May 2108 (Beta) - Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sam Fabrizi said on May 4 that the next long-term budget proposed by the European Commission would be good for Serbia and the Western Balkans, as more money had been allocated to assist the region. "The next long-term budget that the European Commission has tabled is good news for Serbia and the Western Balkans for two reasons," Fabrizi said, explaining that reason number one was the initiative "to increase pre-accession assistance by 20 percent to EUR14.5 billion," meaning more substantial funding for Serbia and the Western Balkans. The EU ambassador said the other reason was that the budget would be more flexible and easier to adjust to new memberships. "This was suggested in the Strategy for the Western Balkans passed in February," Fabrizi recalled, adding that the situation was the same when Croatia joined the EU in 2013, relying on a long-term budget that was in force until 2014. Fabrizi said that the draft budget "confirms clearly the European Commission's commitments to Serbia and the Western Balkans." The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), a source of funding for reforms in EU candidate countries, will be increased 1.2 times, i.e. to neary two billion euros a year, adjusted to inflation. Under the Union's draft budget for the 2021-2027 period, released on May 5, EUR12,865 billion is provided for the IPA fund or EUR14.5 billion after inflation.

DAILY SURVEY

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