The continuation of the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic, the challenges of the mass vaccination process, the dynamics of accession negotiations between Serbia and the European Union, as well as stability in the region were the main topics of the meeting between the EU Delegation to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.
President Vučić thanked the EU for its support to Serbia in the conditions of the pandemic and expressed hope that the first contingents of vaccines from the COVAX program will arrive soon.
“Serbia was among the first to join this programme, thus proving again to be a reliable partner of the European Union,” said President Vučić and stressed that our country has taken a serious and responsible approach to fighting the pandemic, as evidenced by comprehensive measures adopted by the Serbian Government to preserve the health and lives of people, both citizens of Serbia and its surrounding.
Ambassador Fabrizi assured that the EU will continue to provide full solidarity to Serbia. Last week, the European Commission announced the allocation of 12 million euros for Serbia from the EU Solidarity Fund, which is another indicator of the EU’s support for Serbia since the outbreak of the pandemic. The EU will continue to work to ensure a fair and global distribution of vaccines. In this regard, Ambassador Fabrizi stressed the importance of the COVAX program. The EU and Team Europe, as a true global donor, have already pledged more than 2 billion euros for the programme. The Ambassador commented positively on Serbia’s contribution to the COVAX program and congratulated Serbia on the results achieved in the vaccination process, as well as on the timely and decisive measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus.
On this occasion, President Vučić also confirmed that cooperation with the European Union and full membership of Serbia remains one of the key foreign policy priorities of our country. He particularly emphasised that Serbia is sincerely committed to further reforms, which it approaches with responsibility and seriousness, and that through cooperation with the institutions of the Union and its members, it strives to adopt and apply best practices.
Ambassador Fabrizi pointed out that despite the current challenges caused by the pandemic, the EU keeps the issue of enlargement very high on its agenda, given the new methodology to be presented by the European Commission.
President Vučić pointed out that Serbia expects the European Union to monitor and evaluate the dynamics of Serbia’s accession negotiations and evaluate its reform efforts, and that our country is ready to continue working with its European partners on the implementation of reforms and numerous joint projects. In this regard, they also discussed specific joint infrastructure projects.
“We will continue to work intensively on fulfilling the European agenda, aimed at opening new chapters and faster progress on the path to EU membership,” concluded President Vučić.
President Vučić and Ambassador Fabrizi discussed the process of harmonising the legislation of Serbia with the legislation of the European Union and agreed that more energetic work is needed in the area of the rule of law.
The two interlocutors also discussed judicial reform, including the constitutional process, the fight against corruption, media freedom and the resumption of inter-party dialogue.
Ambassador Fabrizi particularly underlined the need for concrete improvements to provide a suitable environment in which the freedom of the media and the role of civil society can be realised unhindered and without pressure.
President Vučić especially emphasised that he advocates that the representatives of all media do their job in an atmosphere of complete freedom of expression and that he remains personally committed to that since media freedom is one of the greatest achievements of democracy.