President Aleksandar Vucic told the Bled Strategic Forum that Serbia belongs to and needs the European Union but added that the EU needs to show respect for the Serbian people.
The 15th Forum is being held under the slogan Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-COVID–19 World: Neighbours – Regions – Global World: Partners or Rivals. Vucic took part in the Leaders’ Panel: Europe after Brexit and COVID–19.
“I think that Serbia belongs to Europe and that we need Europe, including everything that has been said today about European values and efficient and independent judiciary but also better lives for our citizens, including the peace and stability that will be guaranteed to our people,” Vucic said, adding that the Serbian people should be shown respect because they are not enthusiastic towards the EU as shown by the fact that this was not a topic in his party’s election campaign.
Ahead of the visits to Washington and Brussels on September 4th and 7th respectively, Vucic told reporters in Bled it was possible for an agreement on the topics important to both Belgrade and Pristina could be reached. "We want to continue the (Belgrade – Pristina) dialogue (on the normalisation of relations) under Brussels auspices, but we go to Washington to discuss all crucial economic issues." "We accept the language of arguments, but not that of blackmail," "he added.
“I think we should do everything we can to increase the popularity o the EU and stress its contribution to the development of our economy and political system but on the other hand there are many things inside the EU which should be changed in terms of attitude towards Serbia,” he said.
"We would like to belong and join the club and get full support from the EU. We have never underestimated the support we received to date but at the same time we have our own view and see that is happening inside the Union and between the EU and US," Vucic was reported to have said at the leadership panel which was attended by the Prime Ministers of Slovenia, Croatia, Hungaria, Poland, Czechia and Italy along with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgijeva.
Vucic said that Serbia had to cooperate with both the Europeans and Americans on the Kosovo issue, adding that its political status will be discussed under EU auspices and economic issues with the Americans.
He said that he heard excellent ideas and expects a geopolitical approach from the EU.