"Serbia needs Europe, but Europe needs the human, cultural and economic contribution Belgrade can give too". This is the comment that the archbishop of Belgrade, mgr. Stanislav Hocevar, made to SIR the day before the official opening of the negotiations (21st January) for the Balkan country’s future accession to Europe. According to the bishop, Belgrade will be able to share "the experience of cohabitation and dialogue between people of different religions and ethnic backgrounds and the meeting of Western and Eastern European views that took place precisely in Serbia". "To cover all of the European territory, not least geo-strategically – mgr. Hocevar claims –, the European Union needs to have a reliable partner in that region that will hopefully be received as a member in its own right". In his opinion, "Serbia’s non-accession to the EU would be detrimental not just to the Balkan country but to the entire region as well". And he adds: "Hopefully, we will keep having a stable society without major repercussions that may work for peace, along with the other EU member states". 

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