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We're on European path, but also want good relations with Russia: Vucic with EP delegation

I am interested in Serbia, I am interested in Serbia in Europe - the president of Serbia said during a conference after his meeting with a delegation of the European Parliament

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met today with a European Parliament delegation that included European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik and European People's Party (EPP) leader Manfred Weber. The meeting was not attended by EP Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman David McAllister, although his participation had been announced. According to unofficial information, he could arrive in Belgrade later.

After the meeting, Vucic and Manfred addressed the public.

"We want a clearer situation from the EU"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said today that Serbia wants to open new chapters in accession negotiations, but also have a more clear situation regarding what EU countries see as the future of the Western Balkans.

"If that's okay by them, thanks, if not... thanks all the same. We will behave rationally and pragmatically and look at what to do for our country," Vucic said at a press conference after his meeting with EPP head Manfred Weber and European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik.

"It is important for me that Serbia continues its European path. We have 67 percent trade exchange with the EU," he explained.

He said that he had good discussions with European Parliament officials on important topics, starting with Kosovo and Metohija, through the economic situation in the country, which he added, he could boast about, as well as Serbia's economic progress.

 
 
 
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"Dobro došli u Beograd! Sa @vladobilcik_spolu i @manfred.weber razgovarao sam o svim važnim temama, od KiM do ekonomske situacije u zemlji. Ono čime sam mogao da se pohvalim, to je ekonomski napredak Srbije. Rekao sam da ćemo imati veći rast od prognoziranog u Srbiji do kraja godine, time bismo bili jedna od zemalja u čitavoj Evropi sa najvećom stopom rasta na godišnjem nivou. Istovremeno smanjujemo javni dug, smanjili smo po prvi put stopu nezaposlenosti ispod 10 odsto čime se približavamo zemljama EU. Ono što je za mene važno jeste da Srbija nastavlja svoj evropski put i da želimo brže otvaranje poglavlja i jasniju situaciju. Hvala vam na poseti i želim vam da se ovde osećate kao kod svoje kuće."

Објава коју дели Aleksandar Vučić (@buducnostsrbijeav) дана

"We will have higher economic growth than forecast and expect it to be 3.9 or 4 percent. This would make us one of the European countries with the highest growth. At the same time, we are reducing the public-debt-to-GDP ratio. We have reduced the unemployment rate to below 10 percent, bringing us closer to EU countries," he said.

Vucic pointed out that a compromise solution for Kosovo and Metohija is where we are facing have many problems, do not know how things will go in the future - but are always ready to explore.

The discussion also covered the state of human rights, democracy, media freedoms and everything else that is in the interest of the citizens of Serbia, Vucic said, adding that he was critical both towards himself and towards us, and understood well certain comments made by the guests, but also pointed out to what he truly thinks.

"I spoke and expressed the points of view which I usually present to the domestic public. We all must create the best possible environment for elections in Serbia, to be better than in 2012, when we had only one media outlet that we,  as the opposition at the time, had access to. Today the situation is different, but it can be better," he said.

Aleksandar Vučić i Manfred Veber

Photo: TANJUG/ DRAGAN KUJUNDZIC

Vucic expressed his belief that would work, effort, and results of work will always win, rather than how many times somebody appears on a TV station or in a newspaper.

He thanked Bilcik for coming to Serbia for the second time in a short time, and said Weber was a great friend of the whole region to which he arrived today, that he comes from the German state of Bavaria and that he was the man who was selected as the EPP candidate for the head of the European Commission.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank him, on behalf of Serbia and as a member of the EPP bloc, for his outstanding contribution both to our success throughout Europe, but also for his dedication to the advancement of the European idea, but also of the Western Balkans region. Thank you for your hard work and dedication, and without you and your support, the European Commission could not have been elected, which speaks volumes about your size," said Vucic.

"Vucic wants Serbia in EU"

European People's Party (EPP) leader Manfred Weber said today that he sees in Serbia a readiness for change and EU membership.

President Vucic wants Serbia in the EU, Weber said at a press conference after the meeting with President Vucic at the Serbian Presidency.

Asked when he expects Serbia to close its negotiating chapters with the EU and how many chapters are really ready to be opened, Weber said he sees a clear readiness from his colleagues in Belgrade, as well as from President Vucic, for Serbia to become an EU member.

Asked if he would meet with opposition representatives during his visit to Belgrade, Weber said:

"I will have a meeting with all political forces in Serbia and, if I have the opportunity, I will do it," he said.

Speaking about the process of European integration of Serbia, Weber said that what's very important are modernization of the country, fight against corruption, freedom of the media, the rule of law, independence of institutions and other issues, because these are all common European values.

Manfred Veber

Photo: TANJUG/ DRAGAN KUJUNDZIC

"These are all basic ideas that we share. What brings us closer is not only becoming an EU member, but seeing a willingness to take all the steps and implement them so that Serbian citizens can live in modern society. We have the technical details about the talks, but a readiness for change is much more important," said Weber.

(Telegraf.rs/Tanjug)

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