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EU-Balkans: Tusk in Belgrade, “The EU as the region’s main partner”. “Strengthening economic relationships with the area”

L'incontro a Belgrado tra Tusk e Vucic

“The EU is ready, and it wants to be still the most trusted partner of Serbia and of the entire Western Balkan region”, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said yesterday during his visit to Belgrade. Tusk said that the European Union wishes to further strengthen its economic relationships and cooperate more with Serbia and the Balkans, pointing out that right now the EU is the main investor, the main donor as well as the first trade partner of the region. The purpose of President Tusk’s visit to the Western Balkans this week is to prepare the summit due in Sofia on May 17th, to coincide with Bulgaria’s presidency. “At the summit in Bulgaria, the EU will state again that it is willing to continue the European prospect of the region”, added Tusk, while reassuring Serbians that “the EU is a strategic project, because together we can have it all: prosperity, high standards of public life, lasting democracy with a constitutional state and freedom of the press, security”. In his speech, which he gave in Serbian, the president of the EU Council did not hesitate to list Belgrade’s other partners: Moscow, Washington and Ankara. “Your future though – he said – must only be decided by Belgrade”.
Dialogue with Kosovo, “a difficult, emotional issue as well as a strategic choice that will repay the efforts in the long run”, was mentioned too. Serbian president Alexander Vucic stated, instead, that “there’s still a lot to do for Serbia… We have started working at the rule of law and at partnerships with press associations”. Along with Montenegro, Serbia is one the Balkan frontrunners to join the EU.

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