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DAILY SURVEY 08.06.2018.
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SERBIA

VUCIC DISCUSSES COOPERATION, EUROPEAN INTEGRATION WITH SLOVAK PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on June 7 with the speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Danko, and discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the region and European integration, the Presidency has said in a press release. Vucic stated that bilateral relations between Serbia and Slovakia were very good and friendly, not just because Slovakia did not recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo, but also because of the true brotherhood of the Serbian and Slovak peoples, with more than 50,000 Slovaks living in Serbia. Danko said that he was carefully monitoring how President Vucic was fighting for Serbia's independence and for the highest interests of the Serbian people. President Vucic shared concern with the esteemed guest from Bratislava over the rising frequency of attacks on the Serbs in KiM, saying that, for the sake of peace and stability, it was important to continue the talks in Brussels, with the aim of attempting to find a compromise with Pristina. He thanked Slovakia for its support on the European path, the statement reads. Danko pointed out that Slovakia would continue to strongly support the European Union's enlargement, primarily the European integration of Serbia, which it believed should be among the first admitted to the EU. He also voiced Slovakia's readiness to share with Serbia its experience from the process of European integration. Danko expressed gratitude for the concern of the Serbian government for the rights of the Slovak national minority and for the preservation of the Slovak language and culture.

VUCIC, CHEPURIN DISCUSS KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic expressed his concern over the frequent attacks on the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, during his June 7 meeting with Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin, the Serbian Presidency has stated. Vucic said a compromise had to be found on KiM - without imposing solutions that meant pressure on Serbia. Chepurin reiterated Russia's support for the territorial integrity of Serbia, saying that Moscow would continue to support Serbia in international organizations. Vucic expressed thanks for the hospitality he enjoyed during his visit to Moscow for the celebration of Victory Day, May 9, adding that the visit was significant for the further development of cooperation. On the occasion of the forthcoming World Cup, Chepurin presented Vucic with a football as a gift and wished the Serbian national football team success at the championship.

BRNABIC CONGRATULATES NEWLY APPOINTED ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic on June 7 sent congratulations to the newly appointed prime minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, and the new government of Italy. "On the behalf of the Serbian government and my own, I extend cordial congratulations and best wishes for success in your new position," Brnabic wrote, as stated by her office. She expressed conviction that, during Conte's mandate, traditional relations and the fruitful and constructive cooperation between the two countries would be strengthened, to mutual satisfaction and the benefit of efforts for the preservation of stability in the region.

EU, SERBIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON PARTNERSHIP IN OBSERVING EARTH AS PART OF COPERNICUS PROGRAM

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - The European Commission and Serbia signed on June 7 an agreement on partnership in the area of watching the planet within the Copernicus program. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the signing of the agreement was a big recognition of Serbia in European integration and that the agreement would move Serbia closer to the EU in the areas of science, digitalization and agriculture, the EU Delegation to Serbia has announced. Copernicus is an EU program for watching and supervising the Earth and the state of the environment. Owing to different technologies, from satellites to land, sea and air measuring systems, Copernicus supplies operative data and wide-ranging information services. EU Ambassador to Serbia Sem Fabrizi said that Copernicus was the basis of the EU's attempt to watch the planet and its numerous ecosystems, while at the same time it helped preparations for natural and man-made disasters and protection against them. The Serbian BioSense Institute - an institute for researching and developing information technologies in biosystems - will be the focus of the Copernicus program's activities in Serbia in accessing information and using Sentinel information, the EU Delegation in Serbia said. Brnabic said that the signing of the agreement confirmed that BioSense was a leader in the area of digital agriculture in this part of Europe. "I am glad that now our citizens will have access to this unique data, which will primarily benefit our farmers in the beginning, followed by many other branches of innovative business," the prime minister said. Fabrizi said that Serbian researchers and the private sector would join EU member states in using the multiple advantages of the Copernicus Economy system which had a wide range of applications in the area of the environment and safety, including climate change, sustainable development, transportation and mobility, regional and local planning, maritime supervision, agriculture and health. The agreement was signed in Brussels by Philippe Brunet, Director of Space Policy, Copernicus and Defense, and Serbian State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development Vladimir Popovic.

SERBIAN GOV'T TO FINANCIALLY ASSIST REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - On June 7 the Serbian government took a decision on financial aid to Republika Srpska. The Serbian government gave consent for disbursing EUR150,000 for the reconstruction of a cultural center in the municipality of Nevesinje, while the Coordination of Serbs in Mostar was handed EUR120,000 for "realizing projects of interest to the Serb community." In addition, the cabinet decided to give EUR2.5 million in one-time financial aid for the construction of the M20 Gacko-Foca trunk road, the Tjentiste-Brod na Drini, Scepan Polje section.

SERBIA, CHINA SIGN AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy Zoran Djordjevic and Chinese Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Zhang Yizhen signed in Belgrade on June 7 an Agreement on Social Security which regulates pension and disability insurance rights in each of the states for employees working in the other country. Saying that relations between the two states were characterized by a high degree of mutual trust and mutual support on the most important questions, Djordjevic said that bilateral relations were being additionally intensified by the formalization of cooperation in the area of social insurance. "The signed Agreement, in addition to enhancing mutual cooperation in the area of social security has the purpose of offering citizens adequate protection of their rights and safety. It regulates the exercising of rights in the area of pension and disability insurance, meaning the right to old-age, premature, disability and family pensions for all of our citizens who go to work in China, as well as for Chinese citizens who come to work in Serbia," Djordjevic was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Labor. Chinese Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Zhang Yizhen said that the signing of the Agreement on Social Security was of exceptional importance to both countries, as well as that it supplemented cooperation between Serbia and China in the best possible way. The delegations also reviewed the possibility of signing an Agreement on the Temporary Employment of Chinese Citizens in Serbia and Serbian nationals in China, given the fact that most issued work permits were permits issued to Chinese citizens, but that Serbia's citizens were showing a growing interest in working in China. The topic of the meeting was also reviewing ways for raising the cooperation of work inspectorates to a higher level. The Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security delegation is staying in Serbia until June 9.

CADEZ: BRUSSELS SUPPORTS DIGITIZATION OF WESTERN BALKANS' COMMERCE

BELGRADE, 7 June 2018 (Beta) - Eurochambres will support the digitization of the Western Balkans, as a precondition for the improvement of the business environment and processes and boosting competitiveness and the faster economic growth of the region, the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Cadez, said in Brussels on June 7, ahead of his first presiding over the Committee on Digitization of Europe's biggest commerce association. He announced the holding of a conference in Tirana in mid-September, organized by the Eurochambres' Committee on Digitization with the support of the European Commission, dedicated to the digitization of the chamber processes and services and the role of commerce chambers in the digital transformation of the region's economies, especially of small and medium enterprises. "The goal of this gathering is for developed European chambers to present good practice to the colleagues from the Western Balkans - electronic services which they had developed for their members and the ways in which they help the digitization of their commerce," Cadez stated. Pointing out the importance of transferring to digital business, Cadez said that changes in production and business processes and business models, caused by technological advancement, were so radical and fast that the digital transformation of traditional industries and the opening of new digital businesses had become a matter of survival of the economy and saving of money and time. "For Western Balkan economies, which have ahead of them a great task of increasing competitiveness, speeding up growth, tighter regional connection and improving connections with the international environment, that is a special challenge, but also a great opportunity," Cadez said. At its June 7 session, the Eurochambres' Committee on Digitization took a joint stand on the proposal of the European Commission for passing regulations that would secure the fair treatment of small and medium enterprises on online platforms which they used to sell and promote their products and services.

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