“Hard work on Serbia’s EU integration path continued” in the wake of Monday’s opening of Chapters 23 and 24 in the country’s accession talks.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and EU foreign policy and security chief Federica Mogherini made this conclusion on Tuesday, as they met in Brussels.
The meeting addressed Chapter 35 on the continuation of the dialogue with Pristina and its format, “as well as ways to produce a better result that would mean stability in that part of the Balkans,” Vucic said after the meeting.
“But without putting neither Belgrade nor Pristina in a difficult situation, because having any new conflicts or political or any other disputes is what we need the least,” Vucic told reporters.
We will live with the Kosovo Albanians for the next thousand years and that is why we must cooperate to the benefit of both sides and find the best possible political framework, rather than harm our national interests, he said in Brussels.
“We must find solutions to certain issues. As much as I am aware that this is unpopular in Serbia, we must understand that we live, if not with each other, then alongside each other, and that we will live that way for the next thousand years,” Vucic told reporters.
“I do not believe that those who think we should wage wars and get into conflicts are very smart or that they wish well to our country,” he noted.
Forming the Community of Serb municipalities is the toughest issue and the substance of the Brussels Agreement, but its implementation is difficult for Kosovo’s Albanians at this time, Vucic said.
Despite the fact that the Community has still not been established due to obstacles in Pristina, the Brussels Agreement is not a dead letter, Vucic said in response to a reporter’s comment.
At annual level, we have had a significantly lower number of incidents between Serbs and ethnic Albanians than we have had between Serbs in Belgrade – this suggests that the discussions have produced results and that the people know that problems can only be resolved peacefully and through dialogue, Vucic explained.
Belgrade and Pristina teams will meet soon to solve certain technical issues, such as the number of mobile telephony base stations, Vucic said.
Vucic said they had also discussed ways to further strengthen the region economically by bringing in foreign investments.
“It is significant to encourage even more investors to come because growth is something that best heals all political wounds and cures problems. Better living standards for the people are the priority interest,” Vucic said.
Serbia’s European path and bilateral relations with the EU were also discussed, Vucic said.
“I expect hard work in August and concrete results,” Vucic said.