There is no better alternative for Serbia than EU
05. January 2011. | 16:56
Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug, Infobiro.tv
Serbian President Boris Tadic stated on Wednesday that there is no better alternative for Serbia than joining the EU, adding that the country's EU membership would help overcome many historical misunderstandings in the Western Balkans.
Addressing the participants of the ambassadors' conference held in Belgrade, Tadic said that the EU integration is Serbia's most important political goal for 2011 and the years to come.
"Serbia's priority goal is to obtain the EU candidate status, but at this point we cannot say if the date for the beginning of negotiations on the EU accession will be determined this year or next," Tadic stressed.
The process of Balkanization is still present in every country in the region, and a debalkanization of the Balkans should be carried out with reforms that would not renounce the identity of any of those countries, which is exactly what Serbia's goal is, Tadic underscored.
He pointed out that Serbia's second most important goal is the defense of national interests in Kosovo-Metohija, which is embedded in both history and the Constitution.
Tadic said that the Serbian diplomacy must also address this issue, as Kosovo was internationalized during the 1990s.
The president pointed to the importance of regional cooperation, adding that the Western Balkan region is the area of Serbia's most significant economic interests.
He said that economic recovery and the completion of judicial reforms will pose a challenge for Serbia in 2011 as well.
Apart from the interview that Tadic gave for Tanjug, this is his first public appearance since his Achilles tendon surgery at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade on December 23, 2010.
The ambassadors' conference was opened by Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, and his Slovak counterpart Mikulas Dzurinda also addressed the attendees.
Jeremic: Priorities are EU, defence of constitutional order
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stated on Wednesday that Serbia's foreign policy priorities in 2011 will remain the same, and those are progress towards the EU membership and a peaceful defence of the country's constitutional order.
Opening the ambassadors' conference in Belgrade, Jeremic said that Europe is Serbia's strategic priority, adding that the country's aim for 2011 is to receive a EU candidate status and that the date for beginning of EU accession negotiations be determined.
The minister pointed out that the Serbian diplomacy will try to prevent new recognitions of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence and the possibility that Pristina authorities be accepted in international organizations which comprise sovereign states.
Jeremic also mentioned the report of Council of Europe (CoE) Rapporteur Dick Marty on human organ trafficking, in which Kosovo outgoing Prime Minister Hasim Taci is qualified as the boss of a criminal group that engaged in such activities.
Serbian President Boris Tadic will also address the conference of Serbian ambassadors from around the world, which is organized in Belgrade for the third time.
Special guest at the conference is Slovakia's Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda.
Dzurinda: Common goal is modern Serbia as part of EU
Slovak Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda stated on Wednesday that Serbia and Slovakia have a joint European future and expressed his belief that Serbia will able to prepare for the beginning of negotiations for EU accession by the end of 2011.
Our common goal is a modern Serbia as a part of the European policy, Dzurinda said at the ambassadors' conference held in Belgrade, at which he is a special guest.
According to him, the Serbian government has to focus on success.
I believe in synergy and joint efforts of the democratic forces, Dzurinda said, adding that Serbia has both administrative and expert capacities which are a good basis for the EU integration process.
Stressing the necessity of completion of cooperation with the ICTY, Dzurinda commended Serbian President Boris Tadic's initiatives for the strengthening of good relations in the region and supported a speedy beginning of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
Pointing to the traditionally good relations between Slovakia and Serbia, Dzurinda said that the priority of Slovakia's foreign policy in 2011 will be to assist the Western Balkan countries on their EU pathway.
He pointed out that the model of enlargement is based on strict rules and that politically motivated shortcuts will not be possible.
Dzurinda underscored that the progress that Serbia made in 2010 helped to strengthen the EU enlargement process in the Western Balkan region.