Serbian PM says EU should expand and reform at the same time

Serbian PM says EU should expand and reform at the same time

Serbian PM says EU should expand and reform at the same time Izvor: Tanjug/Vlada Srbije/Slobodan Miljević

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told Wednesday’s conference on the European Union that the Union should conduct internal reforms in parallel with its expansion.

Speaking at the conference Quo Vadis Europe? The European Unionbefore the new political cycle, Brnabic said that the expansion of the EU is very important for Serbia and the Western Balkans with EU membership as their strategic goal, the Serbian government said in a press release on its web site.

“The Union is facing many challenges and we in the Western Balkans believe in the European idea perhaps even more than European countries do. We bring a new perspective and recall why the EU is important,” she said during her lecture on Expansion in the New Europe.

The EU is the only opportunity for European countries in efficiently competing with the world, she said and added that non-EU states can’t deal with challenges without the Union. Brnabic said she believes statements that the EU won’t be complete without the Western Balkans. According to her, expansion of the EU is crucial for reforms in the region which is why the EU has to remain committed to the region. The Prime Minister said that regional stability is a key priority for Serbia.

She said there is a consensus in Serbia on the EU. “My government has no plan B even if the EU has to reform itself first and we will continue the reforms,” she said.

Speaking about Kosovo, she said she understands that the EU does not want to import a conflict. Serbia is ready to continue the dialogue with Pristina once it revokes the tariffs on Serbian goods but added that Belgrade needs all possible support from the EU.

Asked about relations with Russia, Brnabic said that they are good and added that Serbia has to use every opportunity possible. “We don’t speak differently to Moscow and Brussels, we want to join the EU, that is our goal but we also want good relations with Moscow. I don’t think that is a problem for either Moscow or Brussels,” she said.

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