“Serbia is on right path to EU”

The Czech Republic unreservedly supports Serbia’s endeavors for European Union integration.

This was heard from Czech Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Jan Kohout and Serbian Deputy PM for EU Integration Bozidar Đelić after their meeting in Belgrade on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic also advocates placing the issue of Serbia’s candidacy for EU membership on the agenda of the EU Council of Ministers session in the spring, they noted.

In 2009, the Czech Republic also supported the visa liberalization for Serbia’s citizens and the implementation of the Interim Trade Agreement, and today it supports granting to Serbia the status of candidate for EU membership as soon as possible, Đelić said.

Kohout said that the Czech Republic will also provide assistance to Serbia in fulfilling the necessary criteria for EU integration.

“Serbia is on the right path to EU integration, and its negotiations with European structures is strongly supported in the EU,” he said.

Đelić said that Serbia can learn a lot from the Czech Republic, as one of the most successful countries in transition and a new EU member-state.

In the past 20 years, the Czech Republic has attracted nearly USD 90bn in foreign investments, he said.

Energy and railways are important sectors in bilateral cooperation, Đelić said.

Negotiations are underway on an investment of up to EUR 300mn in the Niš-Dimitrovgrad Corridor 10 rehabilitation, he added.

The two ministers also agreed to sign later this year a technical memorandum on cooperation in EU integration process.

Kohout also met with Serbian PM Mirko Cvetković, who said afterwards that bilateral relations are good and that Serbia hopes to foster all forms of cooperation with the Czech Republic.

He pointed to the importance of fostering economic cooperation and investments in the future, the government press office said.

Kohout said that the Czech Republic is interested in investing in Serbia, especially in the reconstruction of its railway network.

The Czech Republic is Serbia’s important partner in the process of its Integration in the European Union and it will continue to support Serbia in this regard, it was noted during the meeting.

Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac also met with visiting Czech minister and discussed bilateral cooperation, reports said.

The talk also focused on the political and security situation in the region.

They agreed that cooperation in the defense sector is one of the most important cooperation segments, with a special emphasis on military training.

They also noted that there is scope for fostering bilateral cooperation in the defense sector further, the Serbian Defense Ministry said.

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