SERBIA: EU MESSAGE TO NEW PRESIDENT NIKOLIC. “MOVE ON TOWARDS INTEGRATION”
(Sir Europe – Brussels) – Congratulations on his election as president of Serbia and best wishes for a fruitful cooperation with Brussels “towards European integration”: European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso sent a joint message to Tomislav Nikolic, leader of Serbian Progressive Party, to congratulate him on his victory in the country’s presidential elections. The representatives of European institutions recall that Serbia has just been granted candidate country status and is therefore required to continue along the path of reforms, so that the Commission may start official accession negotiations. Likewise, there is also a need to build constructive relations with neighbouring Kosovo. Mr Nikolic, head of a nationalist party, has recently reviewed his euro-sceptical position in foreign affairs. Now he says: “Serbia will continue on the path of European integration”. President Barroso also released a statement on the earthquake which hit some Italian regions: “I wish to express my profound sadness at the news of the earthquakes that have affected parts of Italy and have caused multiple fatalities as well as significant material damage”. “Our first thoughts are for the families of the victims and for those who have been evacuated from their homes”. The European Commission “is in close contact with the Italian civil protection authorities and is ready to provide swiftly any assistance that may be requested”.