European Western Balkans

Merkel: Deals strong impetus to Serbia's progress toward EU

Angela Merkel

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Monday she was convinced that the latest agreements reached in the dialogue with Pristina would give a strong impetus to Serbia’s advancement in EU integration, and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic voiced the hope that the chapters in the EU entry talks with Serbia would be opened over the course of this year.

Merkel and Vucic said this to reporters in Berlin, and then continued talks.

Chancellor Merkel underscored that the latest agreements had constituted a crucial breakthrough, thus contributing to peace in the Western Balkans. These are courageous decisions delivered by Pristina, especially by Belgrade, she told a news conference in view of the meeting with the Serbian prime minister.

I believe that the results would give an important impetus to Serbia’s progress in the EU, she highlighted.

The Serbian prime minister said that he would talk about the country’s EU integration in the Bundestag and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and voiced expectation that the chapters would be opened as soon as possible.

We hope that the chapters will be opened over the course of this year. We have delivered difficult tasks, and we will be delivering them in the future too, Vucic underscored.

Merkel: Serbia is faced with huge challenge

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin Monday that Serbia was faced with a huge challenge – a huge wave of refugees.

Serbia is particularly affected by this problem, Merkel said, explaining that despite it was not a member-state of the EU, it was a fact that refugees were entering it from a member state, only to re-enter the EU ground a little later, Merkel told a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

She added that, bearing in mind the problems facing Serbia, she had to have friendly talks with the Serbian prime minister about joint activities to undertake.

Prime Minister Vucic said it was the most difficult issue for the whole of Europe and one not in the least easy for Serbia to deal with.

We do not see it as Germany’s or any other EU member-state’s problem, but rather as one facing the whole of Europe. We are ready to work together with all EU members and to take our part of the burden, Vucic said, expressing his belief that Serbia would be able to be a big help to the EU in tackling the situation.

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