Barroso and Fuele to visit Belgrade
19. May 2011. | 12:13
European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele will visit Belgrade on Friday, where they will tell Serbian officials that Serbia's future is in the EU, but that the country holds the key to its own progress.
Arriving in Belgrade together with Barroso and Fuele will be Miroslav Lajcak, the managing director for Russia, Eastern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans in the team of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, Lajcak's political advisor Sabina Stadler told Tanjug.
According to announcements, Barroso, who is heading the Brussels delegation, will meet with Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic.
Spokesman for the EC president Michael Karnitschnig told Tanjug that the goal of the visit to Serbia and other countries in the Western Balkans is to reaffirm the EU's great commitment to the European future of all countries in the region, but also to underline that political leaders and people decide their progress toward full-fledged EU membership themselves.
In relation to this, the EU officials will particularly stress the need for more work on economic and political reform.
After Belgrade, Barroso and Fuele will visit Pristina and Tirana as part of their Western Balkan tour, which started in early April with visits to Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Fuele's last visit to Belgrade was on March 29, when he met with top Serbian officials to discuss economic and administrative reforms needed for Serbia's continued progress toward EU accession.
Ahead of tomorrow's visit, the enlargement commissioner said that Serbia has made major progress toward EU candidate status, but that the Serbian authorities know their homework and know they need to work faster.
The main goal of the visit is to encourage the Serbian government to use these last weeks and months and tackle the remaining issues that we insisted on in our last progress report. I can see that Serbia has made major progress, Fuele recently told B92 television.