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Italy wants fast EU integration for Serbia

13. October 2011. | 07:34

Source: Tanjug

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Wednesday his country wanted an accelerated EU integration for Serbia and stronger economic cooperation with Belgrade.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Wednesday his country wanted an accelerated EU integration for Serbia and stronger economic cooperation with Belgrade.

Serbia has made great steps forward in fighting corruption, establishing the rule of law, completing its obligations towards the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and creating a positive investment climate, said Frattini commenting on Serbia's EU membership application.

He met in Belgrade with Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister for EU Integration Bozidar Djelic. The two agreed that Italy is a key trade partner to Serbia and will become one of the largest investors in the months to come, when the first vehicles roll off the Fiat production line in Kragujevac.

According to Frattini, Italy wishes to become the top investor in Serbia, and not just in the automotive industry, but also when it comes to textile, infrastructure and energy. To do this, Italy will be able to count on its strong banking system, which has resisted completely the economic crisis in the EU, the Italian official noted.

Djelic pointed out that over 200 Italian companies are currently operating in Serbia, creating jobs and partnerships with home companies. It is very important for Serbia that Italy makes progress, Djelic stated. The partnership between the two countries is very significant for the people and the economy, he added.

Frattini is visiting Serbia on the same day that the European Commission will publish its 2011 EU Progress Reports, annual documents on the progress achieved over the year by countries aspiring to EU membership, including Serbia. He is set to meet President Boris Tadic and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic during the day. Frattini will also receive an honorary PhD from the Belgrade University.


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