| |     ћирилица | latinica  
Home

Visit Serbia
SIEPA

 

   
 
Contact

 


 

Working Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 - 16:00 hours
The Consular Section is open to public: 8:30 - 13:00 hours

Holidays

Adresa
Thueringer Strasse 3
D-60316 FRANKFURT AM MAIN
GERMANY

Phone:   + 4969 / 9043-6760 Directions/Map
Fax:        + 4969 / 433-149 Jurisdiction
E-mail: info@gksrbfra.de Honorary Consulates
web: http://www.frankfurt.mfa.gov.rs  

 


 
 
 
News

 

24 March 2021

Marking the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the NATO aggression
 
 
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic made a statement on the occasion of marking the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the NATO aggression.
 
"Your Holiness, distinguished Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, distinguished Speakers of the National Assemblies of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, distinguished Prime Ministers of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, distinguished Ministers of both Governments, dear guests and friends, representatives of the Serbian People from Montenegro, North Macedonia, Croatia, thank you for the fact that we are all together tonight and that the Serbian spirit is unbreakable and invincible.
 
One child a day and a little more than that. That is the most difficult, sickening and painful number of the NATO aggression from 1999. Killed, stopped, guilty of nothing, having committed no sin, without the right to defence, without the right to justice and without the right to life.
 
No one has ever been held accountable for this crime, a crime greater than a crime. No one, for the 2,500 killed civilians, but also soldiers and policemen who were only guilty of guarding, protecting themselves and their homes. No one has ever been held accountable for more than 6,000 persons injured.
 
Even today, 22 years after the aggression, it is not possible to explain that, there is no universal justification, despite all the work done to that end, there is no reason, it makes no sense, and only names remain, as eternal as sin.
 
Miljana Milic, fifteen years old,
Vladimir Milic, twelve years old,
Miomir Mladenovic, fourteen years old,
Dragan Dimic, three years old,
Julijana Brudar, ten years,
Olivera Maksimovic, twelve years old,
Miroslav Knezevic, thirteen years old,
Dajana Pavlovic, five years old,
Stevan Pavlovic, eight years old,
Marko Simic, two years old,
Milica Rakic, three years old,
Ivan Ivancic, seven years old,
Marko Ivanovic, three years old...
 
And the list goes on, eighty nine names, not only Serbian ones...
 
The senselessness of sheer killing did not choose. Sixteen children, aged two to seventeen, from the Ahmetaj and Hasani families, were killed in a convoy returning home to Prizren.
 
In one headline in the West, this was simply explained as a "tragic mistake". The deaths of Marko Roglic, Milan Ignjatovic, Gordana Nikolic, Irena Mitic, Milica Stojanovic, Bojana Tosovic, Branimir Stanijanovic, our Sanja Milenkovic...could not expect or get even such an explanation.
 
Those deaths were not tragic, for those who caused them, much less a mistake. It was just an excuse, a miserable excuse.
 
They were a result of intent and a clear decision, as a severe judgment against one country, its people, its children.
 
And that is why today we will refrain from speculation in giving a name to everything that happened during the spring of 1999. Because a crime happened, a heinous and terrible one. And it was an aggression, not a bombing, not an intervention, not a campaign, not an operation. An aggression is what happened. An attack on a sovereign country, without a decision of the United Nations, without a sufficient reason that would justify attacking the then Yugoslavia or a neighbouring or NATO country.
 
No one was attacked by Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at that time. They attacked us, with one goal. To defeat us, to keep killing us, and in the end to take away a part of our territory.
 
And no matter how much we analyze things today, no matter how harsh and critical we are towards ourselves, our policy and leadership at the time, it is clear that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia were left with almost no choice then. The choice was horrible, either the loss of territory and people on the one hand, or the complete disappearance of the Serbian state, morals, honour, Serbian spirit, names and surnames. And we could not help but lose. Nineteen big ones attacked one small country, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They attacked both Serbia and Montenegro. And even when they don't talk about it today, in one of the two independent countries, those are the facts. And that small country, and that small nation, to all nineteen of them so great and powerful, held a lesson in what matters most - honour, morals and love for freedom that a nation can have.
 
Yes, justice, lest we forget justice. All those nineteen great ones today still silently talk about their military success, avoid answering questions, while - can you imagine, one small, only numerically small Serbian people, that small but magnificent nation, with sadness, tears in their eyes, proudly remembers their resistance and struggle against the nineteen cruel and arrogant ones.
 
We lost a lot, we lost our fathers, brothers, spouses, children, but the honour and Serbian heart are still there, to protect Serbia, which is eternal and indestructible.
 
We lost children, we lost people, we lost control over a large part of the territory, we lost billions because of the destroyed infrastructure and economy.
 
And all that was left for us was the body of a tortured, destroyed country, a country in disintegration, mutilated, looted, wounded, deserted, and guilty, condemned for everything that happened not only in the 1990s, but throughout history.
 
A country that, even ten years after the aggression, did not have the strength to stand up, rise to its feet, and do anything but be silent, or bow its head and obediently apologize, for everything, even for its dead, even for its murdered children.
 
Today, it is no longer that failed, tortured, devastated, mutilated Serbia.
 
Today, it is Serbia, which has found its strength and its pride again.
 
Serbia, which calls things by their real names.
 
Serbia, which turned its back on war and defeats, and started working.
 
Serbia, which rose to stand on its own feet and has a voice of its own.
 
 
Serbia, which, even when they don't believe it, they listen to. Which is capable, which is growing, and is no longer part of the problem. Serbia, which is and will be, at least we will do our best to this end, the very solution that enables the entire region to live in peace and understanding.
 
And that Serbia, today, when there are still many more bombs in the world than vaccines, sends not bombs, but precisely those vaccines to the region. Today, it is ready to produce them as well, and in just a few months we will do just that, but not only for ourselves, but also for others, for the entire Balkans.
 
We are ready, and we are willing to help.
 
We are not ready to be and we will not be silent, nor be humiliated again.
 
We draw the right to that not only from the victims we had, but also from the fact that we stopped looking at others only a long time ago, and looking for fault and guilt only in them, and not sometimes in ourselves as well.
 
We looked at each other and admitted. Every loss, every defeat and every crime that someone committed in our name, every failure and every wrong policy.
 
And we are no longer doing anything that could endanger anyone.
 
 
We continue to work and work, and grow more and more, gaining strength with only one goal - to be the best in economy and education, health, in culture, science, sports...
 
And we want to be safe, on our own. We want our army to be much stronger than it was in 1999. So that we never again face a situation that someone is killing our children, destroying the country, or expelling our people.
 
We want to remain free, to decide our own destiny, and for no one to take everything away from us ever again, and give us nothing.
 
And that nothing today, and I will repeat it as much as necessary, is the idea of some great, powerful ones, but also those who serve them, the idea that "Kosovo" should recognize us, so that we could recognize "Kosovo".
 
We do not need that recognition. And Serbia will not allow you to walk over our victims, our history, our past, but also to walk over our future. You will get the answer of reasonable, kind and responsible people. We need a compromise. We need all the obligations that we and Pristina have assumed to be fulfilled, but only we have fulfilled them so far.
 
And this is not our whim. It is not a phantasmagoria about a Serbian world that we want to create.
 
Even today, when they threaten us with the formation of a Greater Albania, when they say that the Community of Serb Municipalities is not going to happen, it is ours to be calm, to take care of our people in Kosovo and Metohija, but to send a clear message to all those great, powerful ones that we are not as weak as we were, that we will be able to preserve what is our own, not touching anything that belongs to anyone else. After all, Serbia is not and will not be but a handful of oats that every crow from the whole wide world can eat. As for those who used the strength and power of the nineteen arrogant and cruel ones, I only ask them not to threaten us. Please, please, don't threaten us. They should not think that Serbia is broken and that it will not have the strength to respond. Please, please, our Albanian neighbours, do not threaten us. And we ask all others, who have demonstrated their cruelty towards Serbia, not to help you in that. That is all we are asking and nothing more.
 
And we will respond to calls for peace, calls for compromise, and always with good will, because we do not want to have children killed again. And we do not want the children of others to suffer again. But do not underestimate Serbia, and do not look at Serbia with the same eyes as you did in 1999.
 
Today, Serbia is much stronger, much more powerful. Today, Serbia is a united country of togetherness, not a divided one. Today, Serbia is incomparably stronger and better in every aspect than it was in 1999, from the economy to our army. And we will never threaten anyone, we just ask you and request from you to respect us and nothing more.
 
 
Today, we are building roads that will connect us, among ourselves, with the region and with the world. Until the end of the year, we will work on eight motorways, on eight routes in the entire Balkans, not only Serbia, eight roads of peace and cooperation.
 
Only a crazy person would trade this for war, for dead children, for demolition and new loss. And yes, we want to have the closest relations with everyone who took part in the aggression against our beautiful Serbia, we have forgiven a long time ago, but no, we will never forget. And don't ask us to. That one day, every year, we will remind both ourselves and you. The nineteen of you, the most powerful, strongest, greatest in terms of might and force, but not so much when it comes to honour and morality. We will keep remind you and ourselves, just so it would never happen again. Not to us only, but to none other freedom-loving people in the world.
 
And if we have an offer, today it reads as follows: we are ready to make the whole Balkans a winner, for everyone to win, as long as no one tries to make Serbs the only losers.
 
And the path to this goal is not difficult at all. 
 
We just need to respect and understand each other and not try to humiliate each other.
 
And not to touch into what everyone paid the highest and bloodies price for. Freedom. And we, Serbs, know the price of freedom.
 
Into our right to have it, to keep it and to remember all the victims who are part of it.
 
And our defeats, our lives and our children are built into ours. And the lives of our heroic pilots, and our giants from Kosare and Pastrik, and our children, innocent, completely innocent, and only guilty of living in Serbia.
 
This is too high a price to be quiet about it.
 
Because that would mean that we are ready for another defeat, for another humiliation.
 
And we are not.
 
And when all go quiet, we will keep repeating. 
 
A child a day, and a little more. This was how much you killed us. In an aggression that even you did not understand why you carried it out.
 
And we will keep repeating this, just so it does not happen to us again.
 
With special reverence, we are fulfilling our obligation to pay tribute to all innocent Serbian victims who laid their lives on the altar of the homeland, both civilians and our heroic soldiers and policemen, the heroes of Kosare, Prizren, Mitrovica.
 
Today, for us Serbs, life in Kosovo and Metohija is like Via Dolorosa, using their last strength on the road to Golgotha, but we would not be Serbs if we were not capable to "exist in a terrible place".
 
And today, tonight, I can conclude with one important sentence. On the soil of Europe, there was, and today is stronger than ever, an indomitable, unwavering, unconquerable and never conquered Serbia.
 
May eternal glory be to all the victims of the NATO aggression and let us all exclaim together - long live free and proud Serbia", President Vucic said.
 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Commemorating Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija
 
 
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic participated today in the commemoration of the Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. He said that exactly 17 years ago, a pogrom took place in Kosovo and Metohija, and that pogrom surpassed all other crimes.
 
"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest, these words of Elie Wiesel, a camp survivor and Nobel laureate, make it forever incumbent upon us not to remain silent against crime, regardless of who and for what reason committed it", President Vucic stated and added that we remembered and learned every lesson in which we were losers, each one in which we were silent to our own victims, and each one when we were ready to forget.    
 
"Serbia is no longer weak today, nor is it a country of losers, it does not threaten, but it does not forget either, it is ready for talks, but not for humiliation. Serbia, just like everyone else, has the right to take care of its people, their safety and well-being. The right to life is a fundamental human right and we will always defend it", President Vucic said.
 
President Vucic said that pogrom surpasses all other crimes, because it is not only an act, but an intention, a policy, a premediated attempt to forcibly cleanse persons belonging to other peoples and faiths from a region or a country. 
 
"We have no right to remain silent to that", said the President of Serbia, emphasizing that we have an obligation to be winners without blood spilled and war, to be the best in the economy, healthcare, sports, education and everything else that implies development and progress.
 
"We also wish others to work on themselves and be successful, because we are aware that crime is a tool for losers that winners do not need, as they remember, but forgive and move on, while the losers keep spinning in the same vicious circle. We Serbs do not want to be that anymore, we want a future in which we will remember, but from which we will not return. We know what happened and we call it by its real name", President Vucic concluded.
 
 
 
 
Belgrade,
17th March 2021
 
Meeting with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union
 
 
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić met today with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Sam Fabrizi, to discuss the continuation of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges in the mass vaccination process. 
 
President Vučić thanked the EU for its support to Serbia in the conditions of the pandemic and expressed hope that the first contingents of vaccines from the COVAX program will arrive soon.
 
 "Serbia was among the first to join this programme, thus proving again to be a reliable partner of the European Union," said President Vučić and stressed that our country has taken a serious and responsible approach to fighting the pandemic, as evidenced by comprehensive measures adopted by the Serbian Government to preserve the health and lives of people, both citizens of Serbia and its surrounding.
 
Ambassador Fabrizi assured that the EU will continue to provide full solidarity to Serbia. Last week, the European Commission announced the allocation of 12 million euros for Serbia from the EU Solidarity Fund, which is another indicator of the EU's support for Serbia since the outbreak of the pandemic. The EU will continue to work to ensure a fair and global distribution of vaccines. In this regard, Ambassador Fabrizi stressed the importance of the COVAX program. The EU and Team Europe, as a true global donor, have already pledged more than 2 billion euros for the programme. The Ambassador commented positively on Serbia's contribution to the COVAX program and congratulated Serbia on the results achieved in the vaccination process, as well as on the timely and decisive measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus.
 
On this occasion, President Vučić also confirmed that cooperation with the European Union and full membership of Serbia remains one of the key foreign policy priorities of our country. He particularly emphasised that Serbia is sincerely committed to further reforms, which it approaches with responsibility and seriousness, and that through cooperation with the institutions of the Union and its members, it strives to adopt and apply best practices.
 
Ambassador Fabrizi pointed out that despite the current challenges caused by the pandemic, the EU keeps the issue of enlargement very high on its agenda, given the new methodology to be presented by the European Commission.
 
President Vučić pointed out that Serbia expects the European Union to monitor and evaluate the dynamics of Serbia's accession negotiations and evaluate its reform efforts, and that our country is ready to continue working with its European partners on the implementation of reforms and numerous joint projects. In this regard, they also discussed specific joint infrastructure projects.
 
"We will continue to work intensively on fulfilling the European agenda, aimed at opening new chapters and faster progress on the path to EU membership," concluded President Vučić.
 
President Vučić and Ambassador Fabrizi discussed the process of harmonising the legislation of Serbia with the legislation of the European Union and agreed that more energetic work is needed in the area of the rule of law.
 
The two interlocutors also discussed judicial reform, including the constitutional process, the fight against corruption, media freedom and the resumption of inter-party dialogue.
 
Ambassador Fabrizi particularly underlined the need for concrete improvements to provide a suitable environment in which the freedom of the media and the role of civil society can be realised unhindered and without pressure.
 
President Vučić especially emphasised that he advocates that the representatives of all media do their job in an atmosphere of complete freedom of expression and that he remains personally committed to that since media freedom is one of the greatest achievements of democracy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7 March 2021
 
President Vučić: Opening of the factory Continental Automotive great day for Serbia
 
 
President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić attended today the ceremonial opening of the factory Continental Automotive Serbia. President Vučić said that the opening of one of the most powerful companies in Novi Sad is a great day showing how much Novi Sad, Vojvodina and the whole of Serbia have progressed in the last three years.
 
"If you dream and set goals high, if you work hard and diligently, then the dreams come true. Today is a great day for Serbia! I am infinitely happy and proud of the country in which we live, and of the people who work in the Continent," said President Vučić.
 
He thanked everyone who participated in the project, representatives of Continental Automotive Serbia for the decision to invest in Novi Sad and Serbia, but also domestic engineers, who were capable to present our knowledge in the best light as well as our hard work.
 
President Vučić pointed out that the Development and Research Centre in Novi Sad is the third centre of this company in terms of the number of people, right after Germany and Romania, and already ahead of Austria and France.
 
"I believe that 500 people will work in this factory at the beginning and that we will open a greenfield investment in 2022," said the President.
  
President Vučić reminded that many factories were opened in the previous period throughout Vojvodina, in almost all districts.
 
"These German factories always bring great prosperity, higher salaries and a secure job, but also greater seriousness and responsibility," said President Vučić, adding that Serbia would not be as successful in the economy without Germany as it is now and among the fastest-growing countries in Europe.
 
"I believe in made in Serbia, as we put our trust in made in Germany," said President Vučić.
 
He pointed out that he was very grateful to Chancellor Angela Merkel for her support to Serbia in the previous period, adding that she always did only good for Serbia and helped even in the most difficult moments.
 
"We will never forget how much she helped us in bringing in German investors and in solving some regional problems, thus opening the way for sincere friendship between Germany and Serbia," the President said.
 
The Continental Automotive Serbia factory in Novi Sad will manufacture advanced electronic vehicle management systems, and the value of the investment is 140 million euros.
 
The opening of the factory was also attended by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, Minister of Economy Anđelka Atanasković and other representatives of the state and Novi Sad, as well as the German company management.
 
Selakovic: Fight against all forms of crime is a priority of the Serbian Government
 
 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selakovic said today that the fight against all forms of crime was a top priority of the Serbian Government and an integral part of the EU accession process.
 
"It is also our moral duty, in order to leave a better world for the generations to come", Selakovic said participating via video-link at the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Kyoto.     
 
Minister Selakovic emphasized that Serbia, in its Second Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment from 2019, identified as its goal to eliminate cybercrime, human trafficking, terrorism and irregular migration. 
 
The Serbian Foreign Minister pointed out that our country had established in a timely manner a normative and institutional framework that regulates prevention of abuse in this area, as well as that the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Cybercrime, a special court department and a special police unit were established.  
 
The Minister underlined that, in the field of the fight against corruption, Serbia was guided by the postulates set out in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption.
 
Selakovic pointed out the efforts made by the Anti-Corruption Agency, as an independent state body, to protect the public interest, build individual and institutional integrity, strengthen transparency and accountability of the public administration.
 
"We strongly condemn all forms of terrorism, including extremism and radicalism, and call for them to be fully eradicated, while implementing the relevant UN resolutions and conventions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy", the Head of Serbian diplomacy underscored.  
 
In order to combat these complex phenomena efficiently and successfully, Selakovic said, it was of vital importance to build capacities of our societies and states, while exchanging experiences at the regional and global levels.
 
Minister Selakovic thanked Japanese Ambassador Hikihara for the skill he showed in conducting the talks on harmonizing and adopting the Kyoto Declaration, which, as he stressed, was an important indicator of the commitment to creating and maintaining the institutional framework for crime prevention as one of the main preconditions for promoting sustainable development goals.
 
"Back in 1970 when Japan hosted this event for the first time, we demonstrated strong political will to draw attention to the problem. Today, it is incumbent upon us to reaffirm this willingness and resolve and translate it into concrete steps", the Serbian Foreign Minister said. 
 
 
 
 
4 March 2021
 
Selakovic: A compromise, instead of one side winning all
 
 
The essence of Belgrade's position on the issue of relations with Pristina is that a compromise is necessary, which implies a serious approach so that neither side would get everything, but that both would get enough, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said today in Berlin.
 
"We discussed the important issue of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, dialogue in the field of normalization of relations, and I presented the position of Serbia and expressed support for Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák", Selakovic said at a press conference after the meeting with Maas.
 
Selakovic noted that on that issue the essence of Serbia's position was what President Aleksandar Vucic had always said - a compromise solution, which would not mean that one side would get everything and the other nothing.
 
"Compromise implies a serious approach, to have a situation where neither side gets everything, and everyone gets enough", Selakovic said.
 
He stated that talks on this topic would continue, which he said was important on Serbia's European agenda, but also important for the stability of the region.
 
Selakovic once again invited Maas to visit Serbia, reminding that the visit was planned and postponed several times.
 
"But I want to believe that the conditions will be met as soon as possible to see each other in Belgrade, to continue the discussion, and to work together on issues of importance for Serbia and Germany and Serbia's European path", the Head of Serbian diplomacy said.
 
As he said, they discussed Serbia's European path, the necessity of maintaining the reform course in the field of the rule of law, as well as the freedom of the media.
 
"I asked for an approach that will imply a lot of concrete matters, because the reforms were always successful when we encountered openness in communication and when our attention was drawn to things that should change", Selakovic said.
 
He also pointed out the need to open a more obvious European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans, a region that geographically, culturally and in terms of mentality belonged to the European family of nations.
 
Selakovic also stated that the economic cooperation between Serbia and Germany was excellent, and that German companies employed 67,000 people in Serbia, and the goal, he said, was to reach the number of 100,000.
 
He shared the information that the level of trade in goods was at EUR 5.3 billion, with the belief that it would be able to grow even higher.
 
Selakovic said that Germany was the key economic partner to Serbia, and a country whose assistance and helpfulness enabled Serbia to do a lot to improve the economic picture and living standard of citizens.
 
Furthermore, Selakovic stated that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told him that Serbia would soon receive 300,000 vaccines from the Covax program.
 
"We talked about the fight against Covid-19. I presented what Serbia can be proud of in the field of vaccination against coronavirus, but I want to thank Mr. Maas for the information shared at the meeting that 300,000 vaccines from the Covax program will be delivered to Serbia in a very short time", Selakovic said and stressed that this was very important for the continuation of immunization of the citizens of Serbia.
 
"It will be my pleasure to continue cooperation in the future. Once again, I invite you to come to Belgrade, to continue the talks. We need that in the region, to see many more people from EU countries, whose word is listened to carefully and whose voice significantly influences the further course of the European path of the Western Balkans and Serbia", Selakovic said.
 
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas reiterated today that Berlin's position was clear and they were against any talk of changing the borders, adding that he could not say what the reaction from Brussels would be regarding Albin Kurti's statements, but said that the new administration in Pristina would have to deal with unresolved issues.
 
Asked whether there would be a reaction to the statements of the winner of the elections in Kosovo and Metohija, Albin Kurti, who said that dialogue with Belgrade was not his priority, as well as to the constant threats with a "greater Albania", he said that Berlin was clear in the past as well that it was against any border changes.
 
"I cannot estimate what kind of reaction will come from Brussels. I can say that we have always said in the past, that any discussion about changing borders is not useful. That is the line we follow and support. We start from the premise that the new government in Pristina will intensively deal with the issues that must be resolved in order for Kosovo's European perspective to unfreeze. At the moment when the government is formed, we will explicitly say so", Maas said at the press conference held after the meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selakovic.
 
When asked why Serbia did not open any chapters during the German Presidency of the EU, Maas said that Germany was dealing with the implementation of the agreements reached in the negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.
 
"We did not succeed in that, because there are certain bilateral problems with North Macedonia. We must honestly and openly say that the EU did not have good cooperation with the former U.S. administration regarding the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. We have talked with the new government in the United States, and there is a need on their part for closer cooperation and working together on this issue. The fact that we will have a new administration in the United States opens a new opportunity that we should use", he assessed.
 
Discussing he vaccination process, Maas pointed out that if one was to compare the EU to China and Russia in the field of vaccination, then the Union administered twice as many vaccines per capita.
 
When asked about the vaccination process in Serbia and criticism leveled at vaccines from China and Russia, he said that there were certain people in Germany who criticized those who received vaccines from those countries, emphasized that it was not up to him to comment on that.
 
He added that he had heard that China had promised vaccines to a circle of over 46 countries.
 
"None of that concerns me. We have a problem with the fact that what we are doing in the EU we cannot present in the right way. If we did this the right way, we would not have to be ashamed in front of others. We need to talk in the EU so that the Covax initiative, of which we are the largest donor, will deliver vaccines as soon as possible, and by the end of May it will do so in more than 100 countries", he said adding that one million vaccines were earmarked for the Western Balkans through this program, out of which 300,000 were for Serbia. 
 
He reminded that Pfizer-BioNTech, a European-US company, would produce more than two billion vaccines this year.
 
"If you look at those numbers, you don't have to get upset if vaccines are delivered from China and Russia. We should not be ashamed of what we have done so far in Europe", he emphasized.
 
Maas also said that Germany would strive to reach an agreement on vaccine passports, which would be acceptable to the EU's neighbors, including the countries of the Western Balkans.
 
"There are different opinions about a vaccine passport that could give a certain certification to those who have been vaccinated. We will try to make a certain offer that could be acceptable to our neighbors and the countries of the Western Balkans, which would open additional opportunities for us to return to normal life faster. It is necessary for more people to be vaccinated and for the vaccine to be validated with a certificate", he explained.
 
Asked whether the fact that he would meet with the foreign ministers of all Western Balkan countries in the coming days was a message to the region, Maas said that Germany, in the past, present and the future, was an EU country that wanted to offer a European perspective to all Western Balkan countries.
 
"Our long-term goal is for all Western Balkan countries to become members of the EU. During the Presidency of the Union, we worked to resolve all open issues. We vowed that in the EU, we will always strive for progress in the process of bringing countries closer to the EU. This will remain Germany's foreign policy priority", the Minister concluded. 
 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Selaković: Lob der Bundestagsabgeordneten für die Ergebnisse der serbischen Wirtschaft


Der serbische Außenminister Nikola Selaković erklärte heute in Berlin, er habe von den Mitgliedern des Bundestages Lob für die Ergebnisse der serbischen Wirtschaftspolitik gehört, insbesondere für die Zeit, seitdem Aleksandar Vučić Premierminister wurde bis heute.

"Ich hatte die Gelegenheit, mich bei mehreren Treffen mit den Mitgliedern des Deutschen Bundestages zu treffen, die Einfluss auf die Politikgestaltung haben. Menschen deren Rolle für den europäischen Weg Serbiens wichtig ist, aber auch Vertreter der deutschen Wirtschaft, deren Unternehmen und Kapital in Serbien investiert sind und dank derer die Zahl der Beschäftigten in deutschen Unternehmen in Serbien heute Zehntausende beträgt", sagte Selaković gegenüber den Reportern.

Er vermittelte, dass er viele Dinge hören konne, die für uns wichtig sind, um zu wissen wie wir in der nächsten Periode weiter arbeiten sollten, was uns als Fehler angesehen wird und worauf wir achten sollten.

"Es ist eine Freude im Bundestag, von deutschen Parlamentariern lobende Worte für die Ergebnisse der serbischen Wirtschaftspolitik zu hören, insbesondere aus der Zeit, seit Vučić 2014  zum Premierminister wurde bis heute, und angenehmes Unglauben wenn Sie die Tatsache präsentieren, dass Serbien im vergangenen Jahr die am schnellsten wachsende Volkswirtschaft in Europa war. Serbien gelang es, ernsthafte Ergebnisse beim Abbau der Staatsverschuldung und der Senkung der Zahl der Arbeitslosen zu erzielen", erklärte Selaković.

Er erklärte, dass sie auch über den europäischen Weg Serbiens und über einige "Verdächtigungen" sprachen, die in diesem Bereich bestanden.

"Nach diesem Treffen kann ich sagen, dass die Eindrücke positiv waren und dass der Verdacht derjenigen, die zweifelten, verschwunden ist", betonte Selaković.

Er weist darauf hin, dass es mehr solche Treffen geben muss.

Er erhielt vom Vorsitzenden des Europaausschusses des Bundestages, Gunther Krichbaum, eine Einladung, solche Treffen monatlich zu organisieren, das heißt eine direkte Kommunikation mit Menschen aufrechtzuerhalten, die die Politik eines großen Landes wie Deutschland, dass das führende Land in der EU ist,  beeinflussen können.

Wenn es um das Treffen mit den Wirtschaftern geht, sagt Selaković, dass es immer noch Interesse gibt, wenn es um Serbien als eines der attraktivsten Investitionsziele geht.

Der Minister erinnerte daran, dass 2014, 17.000 Menschen in deutschen Unternehmen in Serbien beschäftigt waren und heute sind es 67.000. Das Ziel, sagt er, ist es, die magische Zahl von 100.000 zu erreichen.

"In der Zeit von COVID-19, dem schwierigsten Jahr für die Wirtschaft nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, gelang es Serbien trotzdem ausländische Direktinvestitionen in Höhe von 2,9 Milliarden Euro anzuziehen. Es ist eine Anerkennung der Politik des Präsidenten, der Regierung, alles, was in der Vorperiode getan wurde, um das Geschäft in Serbien zu verbessern", erklärte er.

Selaković vermittelte, dass es auch konkrete Dinge gibt, die empfohlen werden, manchmal missbilligt werden und Bereiche in denen wir uns mehr bemühen und mehr Arbeit zeigen müssen, zum Beispiel bei der Rechtsstaatlichkeit.

"Der erste Tag des Arbeitsbesuchs in Deutschland verlief zufriedenstellend. Dieses Vergnügen wurde mir von den Personen vermittelt, die an den Treffen teilnahmen. Ich bin überzeugt, dass die Treffen von morgen, die überhaupt nicht einfach sind, weil es oft Situationen gibt, in denen wir uns nicht einig sind, wie unsere Ansichten zum Problem zwischen Belgrad und Priština, dem Thema Kosovo und Metohija, erfolgreich sein werden", sagte Selaković.

Er erklärte auch, dass er als jemand, der schon als Minister für Justiz und Staatsverwaltung in Berlin verweilt hat, stolz darauf sei, was der serbische Präsident für das Image unseres Landes getan habe.

"Serbien heute und vor sieben oder acht Jahren zu vertreten, ist eine ganz andere Sache", beschloss Selaković.

Quelle: Tanjug

03. März 2021
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Selaković vor dem Europaausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages

Außenminister Nikola Selaković begann seinen offiziellen Besuch in Berlin mit einer Ansprache vor dem Europaausschuss des Bundestages, in der er sagte, dass Serbien dessen außenpolitische Priorität die volle EU-Mitgliedschaft ist, sei weiterhin dem Dialog mit Priština verpflichtet der unter der Schirmherrschaft der Union stattfindet, wies jedoch darauf hin dass ein erhebliches Problem in diesem Prozess, ein Mangel an Vertrauen sei.

Selaković wies auch darauf hin, dass das Thema Kosovo und Metohija nicht nur für Serbien, sondern auch für die Wahrung von Frieden und Stabilität in der gesamten Region von größter Bedeutung ist.

"Ich bin überzeugt, dass dieses Thema daher auch für Deutschland wichtig ist, denn wir haben gesehen, dass sich jede Instabilität auf dem Balkan letztendlich auf die deutsche Gesellschaft ebenfalls ausgewirkt hat. Es geht darum, eine dauerhafte und nachhaltige Lösung für  Kosovo und Metohija zu finden", sagte Selaković.

Er wies darauf hin, dass Serbien den von der EU geführten Prozess unterstützt, sich jedoch der Rolle der Mitgliedstaaten, vor allem Deutschlands, in diesem Prozess bewusst ist.

"Deshalb brauchen wir Ihr Verständnis und Ihre Unterstützung. Serbien bleibt dem EU-vermittelten Dialog zwischen Belgrad und Priština verpflichtet", betonte er.

Selaković merkte an, dass das Problem in diesem Prozess ein Mangel an Vertrauen sei und dass Serbien darauf besteht, dass das, was im Dialog mit Priština vereinbart wird, strikt und ausnahmslos umgesetzt werden muss, und erinnert daran, dass Belgrad bisher viel getan hat, während Priština 2.874 Tage ablehnt den Teil über die Gründung der Vereinigung der serbischen Gemeinden durchzuführen.

"Das ist die Verpflichtung von Priština, auf deren Umsetzung unsere Seite bestehen wird, vor allem, weil wir ein besseres und sichereres Leben für die Serben im Kosovo und Metohija wollen", betonte Selaković.

Er wies darauf hin, dass Serbien ebenfalls versucht, sein eigenes orthodoxes Kulturerbe in der Region Kosovo und Metohija zu bewahren, was für das gesamte Christentum von unermesslicher Bedeutung ist.

"Deshalb sind wir besorgt über die wachsende Zahl von Aktivitäten, die von den Behörden in Priština und Tirana synchron und offen durchgeführt werden, um die Idee eines 'Großalbaniens' zu verwirklichen, das nicht nur eine Bedrohung für Serbien darstellt, aber auch für die Stabilität der gesamten Region", warnte der Chef der serbischen Diplomatie. Serbien erwartet daher starke und eindeutige Maßnahmen seiner Partner, um solche Ambitionen zu unterdrücken.

"Es ist notwendig dass wir alle verstehen wie ernsthaft und langfristig unsere Region von den Befürwörter des Projekts 'Großalbanien' bedroht ist", betonte Selaković.

Er erklärte, dass Belgrad bereit sei, den Dialog mit Priština in gutem Glauben fortzusetzen, und dass das Ergebnis des Dialogs ein Kompromiss und eine nachhaltige Lösung sein sollte, die für beide Seiten und im Interesse aller - Serben und Albaner - akzeptabel sei.

"Das kann jedoch nicht bedeuten, dass Serbien in diesem Prozess alles verliert und der völligen Vernachlässigung dessen staatlichen Interessen zustimmt", betonte er.

Selaković wies darauf hin, dass Serbien die kontinuierliche Unterstützung Deutschlands für die EU-Erweiterungspolitik und die Bedeutung, die es der Region des westlichen Balkans beimisst, sehr schätze und das Prinzip "streng, aber fair", an dem Deutschland festhält, sehr wohl verstehe.

"Die Vollmitgliedschaft in der EU ist eine der wichtigsten außenpolitischen Prioritäten und ein strategisches Ziel aller serbischen Regierungen in den letzten 20 Jahren, einschließlich des derzeitigen. Wir sind uns bewusst, dass der Weg zur Mitgliedschaft lang, anspruchsvoll und mit zahlreichen Herausforderungen von verschiedenen Seiten verbunden ist", fügte er hinzu und erinnerte daran, dass Serbien die neue Methodik akzeptiert hat.

Auf die Frage vieler, warum Serbien Mitglied der EU werden will, zu einer Zeit, in der die Union selbst eine Zeit verschiedener Krisen durchlebt, lautet die Antwort, dass Serbien die europäischen Werte teilt und auch kulturell der europäischen Staatengemeinschaft hinzugehört.

Selaković wies auch darauf hin, dass die EU der Wirtschaftspartner Nummer eins in Serbien ist, da wir am meisten in die EU exportieren und noch mehr von dort importieren. Die meisten Investitionen kommen aus der EU, eine große Anzahl von Studierenden studiert in der EU...

"Deshalb ist unsere Position klar, wir wollen eine Vollmitgliedschaft in der Union und wir brauchen Ihre Hilfe, um den Beitrittsprozess zu beschleunigen und abzuschließen", betonte er.

Er fügte hinzu, Serbien sei auf dem europäischen Weg auch wegen der Transformationskraft des Beitrittsprozesses, der den Bürgern ein besseres Leben ermöglichen wird.

Selaković stellte die wirtschaftlichen Erfolge der Regierung vor, und betonte, dass Serbien in Europa am ersten Platz ist in Bezug auf das Wirtschaftswachstum, was Ende März offiziell bestätigt wird, wenn die erste vierteljährliche Überprüfung für dieses Jahr veröffentlicht wird.

Ein solches Ergebnis sei Dank der raschen Öffnung unserer Wirtschaft nach der ersten Pandemiewelle sowie der seit 2014 von der serbischen Regierung ergriffenen Reformmaßnahmen erzielt worden.

Laut Selaković ist Serbien eine Verbindung und ein wichtiger Teil des Korridors zwischen Westeuropa und Istanbul. In diesem Zusammenhang erinnerte er daran, dass der erste Abschnitt der Autobahn von Sofia zur Grenze Serbiens fertiggestellt wurde und der fehlende Teil auf der bulgarischer Seite soll bis Ende dieses Jahres gebaut werden.

In Bezug auf die Rechtsstaatlichkeit betonte Selaković, dass Serbien in den vergangenen Jahren viel getan habe, und verwies auf die Annahme der vorgeschlagenen Verfassungsänderungen, die dem Parlament zur weiteren Bearbeitung übermittelt wurden, was Teil des Prozesses der Verfassungsänderungen ist zu dem sich unser Land im EU-Beitrittsprozess verpflichtet hat.

Bezüglich der Medienfreiheit wies Selakovic darauf hin, dass in Serbien die Medienfreiheit durch die Verfassung und die Gesetzgebung garantiert wird, die den EU-Standards vollständig entsprechen, dass unser Land die Medienfreiheit vorbehaltlos unterstützt, und voll und ganz der Einschätzung zustimmt dass dies die Grundlage jeder demokratische Gesellschaft ist.

In diesem Bereich, betonte er, fehlten die Ergebnisse nicht, und erinnerte daran, dass 2019 eine neue Medienstrategie entwickelt wurde und Ende letzten Jahres der Aktionsplan zur Umsetzung dieser Medienstrategie verabschiedet worden sei.

"Es wurde eine Arbeitsgruppe für die Sicherheit und den Schutz von Journalisten sowie eine Arbeitsgruppe für die Überwachung der Umsetzung des Aktionsplans für die Medienstrategie eingerichtet. Alle Anträge auf Einleitung eines Gerichtsverfahrens gegen Medien oder Journalisten wurden aus dem Verfahren zurückgezogen. Alle Strafanzeigen gegen Medienvertreter wurden zurückgezogen. Die Staatsanwaltschaft der Republik hat eine Anweisung an die Staatsanwälte erteilt, die in Fällen, in denen Journalisten involviert sind, dringende Maßnahmen anordnet. Die Anweisung ordnet auch Sanktionen im Falle von Bedrohung, Gewalt oder Gefährdung der Sicherheit von Journalisten und Medienarbeitern in einem dringenden Verfahren an", sagte er.


Quelle: Tanjug

03. März 2021
________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
Belgrade,
24 February 2021
 
Selakovic: Germany is one of our most important economic and political partners
 
 
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selakovic met today with Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Serbia Thomas Schieb.
 
Minister Selakovic noted that the bilateral relations were very good, as evidenced by the advanced cooperation in all fields, and assessed that Germany was one of the most important economic and political partners of Serbia.
 
The Head of Serbian diplomacy said that the very good relations were matched by a high intensity of contacts maintained with German officials and representatives, including frequent visits at the high and top levels.
 
In this regard, Minister Selakovic expressed the expectation that his upcoming visit to Berlin and meetings with top officials there would contribute to an even better understanding and further enhancement of relations between our two countries.
 
Furthermore, the Minister expressed hope that a return visit by Minister Heiko Maas would also take place this year.
 
Germany is one of the key economic partners of Serbia and one of the largest investors in the Serbian economy, Selakovic said expressing hope that economic cooperation would be intensive this year as well, and that new German investments would be realized in Serbia.
 
Minister Selakovic also informed about the readiness on the part of Serbia to offer investors significantly more favorable business conditions and said that the key interests of Serbia included increasing German investments in infrastructure projects, cooperation in the field of automotive industry and energy, agri-food, IT and tourism sectors.
 
The Minister underlined that Serbia remained on the European path, that it believed in cooperation with its European partners, as well as that it continued to work on the implementation of comprehensive reforms.
 
Selakovic pointed out that Serbia appreciated Germany's support to the EU enlargement policy and the importance it attached to the Western Balkan region. He added that Serbia had accepted the new methodology and stressed the need for Germany's support in actively approaching other Member States and the European Commission, in order to define how to apply the new methodology.
 
When it comes to the process of normalization of relations with Pristina, Minister Selakovic emphasized that Serbia approached the dialogue in good faith, and that our side would continue to maintain such an approach towards identifying a fair, practicable, mutually acceptable and comprehensive solution.
 
 
 
Belgrade, 24th February 2021
Improving the business environment for German companies in Serbia
 
 
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic talked today via video link with representatives of German companies from the Committee of German Economy for the East about strengthening economic cooperation through further improvement of the business environment for German companies operating in Serbia.
 
Brnabic pointed out that Serbia, thanks to the reforms it has implemented, especially in the field of rule of law, digitalization, education reform and economy, has become a credible and reliable partner for German companies that are increasingly present in our country.
 
She added that Germany has been among Serbia's leading economic partners for many years and the first foreign trade partner, emphasizing that the Government will continue to work on creating a good business climate in order to attract new German investors.
 
Representatives of German companies assessed that the cooperation with Serbia is very good and that it gives excellent results, emphasizing that thanks to the business of German companies in Serbia, 68,000 new jobs have been provided.
 
They welcomed the reforms of the Government of Serbia, which lead to the intensification of economic and trade relations.
 

 

 

 

 

President Vucic: Serbia is ready for dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, but will refuse being humiliated

Belgrade, 7 February 2021

 

President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army Aleksandar Vucic attended a demonstration of capabilities of one part of Serbian Army units in the "Rastko Nemanjić" barracks in Pancevo. On this occasion, President Vucic stated that Serbia was ready to continue the EU-facilitated dialogue with Pristina at any point, while respecting also the position of the United States as well as the positions of Russia and China.    

The President said that he would rather put his "head on the chopping block" than sign any document with a recognition and reminded that he had already once refused to do so in Washington, where there were two versions of the agreement.

He stated that he immediately had his delegation leave the meeting, that he told the U.S. delegation that Serbia would not sign such an agreement, while conveying that Serbia would always endeavour to hold peaceful talks in order to preserve peace, but that it would not take any humiliation.

The Serbian President thanked the U.S. President Joe Biden for the letter of congratulations on the occasion of the upcoming Statehood Day, in which, in addition to the usual emphasis on commitment to promoting economic cooperation, regional stability and democratic values, he unequivocally called for mutual recognition of Serbia and "Kosovo" as a result.

Mutual recognition between Serbia and "Kosovo" is not part of any act of any world organization, the President pointed out and reiterated that Serbia was ready to continue the EU-facilitated dialogue with Pristina at any point, while respecting also the position of the United States as well as the positions of Russia and China.

According to the president, the situation is difficult and will only be increasingly difficult.

"As I told you three days ago, I can see it and I expect it, I can see the situation slowly tightening, because the conflicts between them at the global level have been increasing and intensifying, and then we have to pay the price", the President said.

President Vucic said that said that it was up to our state to continue strengthening the country in the economic sense.

The President added that the role of the army was very important in the highly complex security and political conditions of the modern world, and that was why Serbia needed to do everything it could to deter any potential aggressor and attacks on citizens and the country.

"The policy of strengthening the armed forces will continue at a faster pace", the President emphasized, adding that the goal was for the Serbian Army to play a stabilizing role with regard to the political developments in the region.

According to him, it should be clear to everyone that Serbia was not a punching bag and that not everyone could attack and threaten it like it was the case in the past.

Vucic said that he was pleased with what he saw and that a lot had been done in the previous period, pointing out that the salaries of military personnel would be significantly increased as of April.

President Vucic also stated that investments in the Serbian Army would continue, whom he told that he expected the Army to continue to be the guardian of our country, its integrity and freedom.

"We expect you to be the guardians of our country, its integrity and freedom, the defenders of our people, the guardians of the homeland, the protectors of the interests of the state of Serbia and to be a deterrent factor for every aggressor and anyone who might consider attacking Serbia", Vucic said.

The military exercise called "Spearhead" demostrated the capabilities of the 72nd Special Operations Brigade, and the event, which the President of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army assessed as very good, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojsa Stefanovic and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilovic.

 

Meeting with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia

Belgrade, 4th February 2021

 

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić met earlier today with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, to discuss Serbia's European path, continuation fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of political and economic reforms, with particular emphasis on the rule of law and plans for new EU investments in our country.

President Vučić thanked the EU for its support to Serbia in structural reforms and economic measures and the EU investments in our country. The President especially expressed hope that the first contingents of vaccines from the COVAX programme promoted by the European Union will arrive soon.

"Serbia was among the first to join this programme, thus showing once again that it is a serious and reliable partner of the European Union. I am convinced that together, with solidarity and mutual understanding, we will manage to get out of this crisis and continue working to recover the economy," said President Vučić, adding that the EU is the most important foreign trade and investment partner of our country since two-thirds of our trade and investments are related to EU countries.

The Head of the EU Delegation, Sem Fabrizi, affirmed that the EU will continue with solidarity to the fullest extent and that it will continuously work on ensuring the distribution of vaccines both in Serbia and in the Western Balkans countries. He expressed satisfaction with the Government of Serbia's results, especially emphasising that timely and decisive measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus contributed to maintaining the country's economic stability during the pandemic.

"Thanks to the current structural reforms, Serbia, in line with the accession process, has shown resilience to the crisis and the ability to mitigate the effects on the economy with excellent results in the healthcare area", Sem Fabrizi said, stressing that the pandemic did not affect the undoubted commitment of the Western Balkans to the EU process.

Ambassador Fabrizi also introduced President Vučić to the new head of the EIB's Office for the Western Balkans, Alessandro Bragonzi, who pointed out that it was a great honour for him to take over activities for the region at a time when it is facing such a difficult crisis.

The European Investment Bank invested 873 million euros in the Western Balkans during 2020, which is about 50 per cent more than in the previous year. Most of the assets, i.e. 531 million euros, are in line with the European Union's priorities for increasing connectivity and has been invested in the construction and modernisation of transportation infrastructure in the region.

"Serbia will continue its outstanding cooperation with the EIB, as we are strongly committed to building an economy based on sound and solid foundations, as well as on innovation and all other projects supported by the EIB so far, which have undoubtedly contributed to our good economic results in 2020", said President Vučić and pointed out that further improvement of the health system in Serbia, development of the infrastructure network and implementation of the green and digital agenda remain key priorities of Serbia. The President also expressed hope that with the EIB's support, the planned projects will be successfully completed.

"Following this commitment, Serbia is determined to create an even more favourable business climate with additional packages of subsidies for the investors from the EU who want to invest in our country", said President Vučić.

"The European Union and the European Investment Bank, with the approach of 'Team Europe', support Serbia's strategic goals, including in the field of connectivity, environment and energy and work on priority projects such as reconstruction and construction of an additional building of the Clinical Centre of Serbia, reconstruction of the Clinical Centre Vojvodina, modernisation of railway infrastructure, gas interconnector from Bulgaria, Mir highway and Corridor 10", said Ambassador Fabrizi and expressed the EU's readiness to continue with investments that will encourage further economic growth of Serbia, which are at the heart of the new EU economic and investment plan for the Western Balkans.

He said that Serbia must continue its European path and that further support of the Union in strengthening, adopting and implementing reforms is critical, for the benefit of the citizens.

"We will continue to work intensively on fulfilling the European agenda, aimed at opening new chapters and faster progress on the path to EU membership", concluded President Vučić.

President Vučić and Ambassador Fabrizi discussed the process of harmonising Serbia's legislation with the legislation of the European Union and agreed that more energetic work is needed in the area of the rule of law.

The two interlocutors also discussed judicial reform, the fight against corruption, media freedom and the resumption of inter-party dialogue.

 

Ambassador Fabrizi and President Vučić confirmed the importance of continuing the EU facilitated dialogue with Priština.

 

 

26 January 2021

Minister Selakovic speaks for Politika: The year of rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy

 

Serbia's foreign policy positions are naturally being adjusted to the new developments at the international level, but our foreign policy priorities have not changed in a long time. Our top and most important interest is to preserve good-neighbourly relations and stability and peace in the region and, in the same context, to find a peaceful and just solution to the problems in Kosovo and Metohija, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said in an interview with Politika daily.

Another lasting interest of ours is full membership of the European Union, because this is the type of society we strive for. At the bilateral level, our goal is to strengthen ties with traditional friends, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, but also to build new partner relations with the United States. One of the most important tasks of our foreign policy is to improve the position and protect the rights and identity of our people in the region, as well as to provide various types of support to Serbs in the diaspora. All these are very important and more often than not complementary goals, Nikola Selakovic pointed out.

What kind of relations do you expect Serbia to have with the new U.S. administration?

It is too early to speculate about this in public. The new presidential administration in Washington is currently preoccupied with internal issues and this will be the case for some time. There are people in the team of President Joseph Biden who have dealt with our region, and it is likely that the Balkans and Serbia will be the focus of the U.S. foreign policy at some point. I will remind you that President Vucic and President Biden not so long ago had very substantive talks in Belgrade, after which our President stated that he had the opportunity to talk to someone extremely well acquainted with the situation in this part of the world and an extraordinarily prepared interlocutor. Taking their personal relationship into account, but also the importance of enhancing the ties between Serbia and the United States, we have reason to expect that a meeting between the two presidents will be organized in the foreseeable future. I am sure that the nature and dynamics of the relations between Serbia and the United States will be influenced by the fact that Ambassador Marko Djuric now represents us in Washington, whose presence at President Biden's inauguration ceremony is an important signal and, I believe, a harbinger of positive developments in bilateral relations between our two countries.

How would you describe our country's relations with Moscow, Brussels and Beijing?

Russia is our traditional friend and that friendship goes beyond merely political ties. These are deep spiritual, cultural and civilizational bonds, and it is only natural that we have a mutual interest in improving those ties, even though they are at a very high level. We have a relationship with the People's Republic of China which is, in addition to the sincere iron-clad friendship between our peoples and high political representatives, based on deep trust and mutual support. Full membership of the European Union is Serbia's strategic orientation that all our friends are aware of, but our country does not forget its friendships, but strengthens and promotes them instead, and approaches all with honesty and no ulterior motives. In this context, we do not seek any preferential treatment, but only the right to freely and independently make decisions about our future and relations with all who respect us.  

Could Serbia pursue a different foreign policy than the one it is pursuing at the moment?

It is always possible to have a different policy, just look at the foreign policy of Serbia ten, twenty or thirty years ago, examine the results at that time and you will realize how irretrievably expensive that policy turned out to be. Whether a policy is right, at either foreign or domestic level, is measured through its results and effect on the lives of citizens and the fate of the entire state.

Our foreign policy priorities are not being defined on a whim, but are instead the result of a serious and deep examination of our complex position and strategic thinking about ways to improve it. Today, Serbia has a better international reputation and credibility than two decades ago, and the main reason for that is that our results have shown how serious and responsible we are as a country. That kind of credibility is not achieved by trickery, but only by hard and well-thought-out work on oneself. And I need to emphasize on this occasion as well that the main inspiration for such an attitude towards politics, the state and its future comes from none other than President Aleksandar Vucic. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I have the opportunity on a daily basis to see the level of appreciation and respect President Vucic enjoys beyond the borders of our country.

When can we expect the vacant posts of Serbian ambassadors and consuls across the globe to be filled?

That is one of the main tasks for 2021. This will be a year of reinvigoration and I believe also rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy. Our country, given its size, has a fairly extensive diplomatic network, which provides it with great opportunities for deepening political and economic relations with countries in all parts of the world. But we need more fresh and energetic staff, people who will be the most honourable representatives of a modern and dynamic Serbia. There are such people in Serbia, and we do need a serious rejuvenation, in order to avoid wide generation gaps in our personnel, and to lay the foundations of a modern career diplomacy.

How would you describe your relationship with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic?

President Vucic and I are, in addition to having close and friendly relations, by virtue of the work we do and our constitutional competencies, the closest collaborators in the realization of Serbia's foreign policy goals. This allows me to talk to him often, and on many occasions learn a lot of new and important things. President Vucic is a man who inspires people around him with his strategic and visionary approach to politics, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to be part of his closest team of associates over the years, and to have had him as a kind of political mentor. In any case, his vision of Serbia as a modern, progressive and prosperous state, which independently and on its own will decides on its destiny, is my wish as well and key motivation for political engagement. For only such Serbia is a country that its own citizens, as well as Serbs beyond our borders, can confidently rely on, while also being an inspiration to the entire region.

 

Belgrade,

26th January 2021

Meeting with the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić met earlier today with the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Thomas Schieb, to discuss the most important current topics, with particular emphasis on bilateral relations, as well as current and future projects in the field of economic cooperation. 

President Vučić and Ambassador Schieb stated that Serbia and Germany's relations are at an exceptional level, which represents a sound and solid basis for further improvement of the overall relations between the two countries and even stronger development and improvement of economic cooperation.

President Vučić expressed his gratitude to German investors for employing more than 67,000 people in Serbia and added that he hoped that number would increase with the further improvement of our business environment.

"In addition to providing jobs, German companies have an exceptional influence on the entrepreneurial spirit and work habits, as well as on the development of dual education in our country", said President Vučić, emphasising that Serbia will pay special attention to this type of education in the coming period, as well as to the green agenda and environmental protection.

At the meeting, special attention was paid to particular new investments, the implementation of which is expected in the coming period. Ambassador Schieb said that the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany firmly and actively supports the existing trend of increasing investments.

On this occasion, Ambassador Schieb introduced to the President the new director of GIZ in Serbia, Daniela Funke, and the new head of the KfW office, Rüdiger Hartmann.

"The German government, with its institutions KfW and GIZ, has implemented projects worth 2 billion euros in Serbia during the last 20 years," said Ambassador Schieb, adding that Germany's focus in Serbia will continue to be on projects in the field of a sustainable economy, dual education, renewable energy and environmental protection, as well as the rule of law. Germany currently supports Serbia in these areas with 240 million euros.

In that context, President Vučić particularly pointed out that he expects even greater participation of companies from the European Union in infrastructure projects since Serbia is seriously approaching the country's general development with full commitment to development cooperation.

 

In that sense, Ambassador Schieb emphasised that "Serbia is not only a strong economic partner for Germany", but that our country is Germany's "most important partner in the region in the field of development cooperation".

 

Government focuses on reforms in field of rule of law

 

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić talked today with the ambassadors of the Quint countries and the Head of the European Union Delegation about the continuation of reforms on Serbia's path to membership in the European Union.

Brnabić confirmed that full membership in the EU remains a key foreign policy priority of Serbia, emphasizing that reforms in the area of the rule of law are in the focus of the government of Serbia.

She pointed out that Serbia is sincerely committed to the implementation of radical reforms in the field of justice, the fight against corruption, the strengthening of independent institutions and the freedom of the media, and added that much has already been done in practice.

The Prime Minister informed the ambassadors of the Quint countries and the Head of the EU Delegation about the concrete measures that the government of Serbia has taken so far in the area of the rule of law, and pointed to the further fulfilment of the GRECO recommendations.

According to her, the initiative to amend the Constitution was adopted and forwarded to the National Assembly, new members of the State Prosecutors' Council were elected, and work is underway to establish a unified and centralised case management system.

The state is working on further strengthening the cooperation with independent bodies and institutions, as well as on improving election conditions, among other things, by forming a working group for the improvement of election conditions.

She pointed out that, when it comes to media freedom, the government has adopted the Action Plan for the implementation of the Media Strategy and formed the Working Group for the Safety of Journalists.

The ambassadors of the Quint countries welcomed the measures implemented by the government of Serbia, assessing that these are encouraging steps in the right direction and represent the basis for accelerating the accession process.

 

Brnabić expressed the expectation that the reforms that are being implemented will be recognised and adequately evaluated, and that in 2021, accession negotiations with Serbia will be accelerated.

 

 

Belgrade, 12 January 2021

President Vucic: Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of growth

 Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic pointed out that Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of economic growth, which will be officially confirmed at the end of March, and that this was possible owing to the reform measures taken since 2014 and the rapid opening of the country after the first wave of corona virus.

The President pointed out that Serbia had a growth of 5.2 percent in the first quarter, while the Eurozone was at minus 3.2 percent, in the second quarter Serbia had a growth of 6.3 percent, while the Eurozone was at minus 14.7 percent, and in the third quarter, when the Eurozone was at minus 4.3 percent, Serbia's figure was only minus 1.4 percent.

Vucic stated that Montenegro, for example, recorded as much as 26 percent minus in the third quarter.

Furthermore, the President emphasized that hospitals were built and renovated in our country, and that two hospitals were built from the ground up in just four months.

He said that the state made significant efforts to procure respirators, masks, gloves, protective suits, medicines, everything that was needed, and pointed out that work was being done on 10 general hospitals throughout Serbia, adding that all these were major achievements that were only possible owing to the success of the 2014 reforms, the enactment of the Labor Law, which yielded excellent results, and also through fiscal consolidation measures.

"These are unprecedented results for Serbia. Was Serbia ever before the first in Europe in terms of growth rate? We will get the results on 31 March that will confirm that Serbia is number one in Europe. All that was possible thanks to people who believed in difficult changes", Vucic said.

 According to the President, this year, as many as six highways will be built in Serbia at the same time, and in this regard, he noted that Bulgaria has announced that the highway from our border to Sofia will be completed by the end of the year, after which it will be possible to use motorway to travel to Istanbul, which is very important to ensure that our country is on a transport route.

 President Vucic emphasized that in 2020, the so-called year of corona, our country had a net inflow of foreign direct investment amounting to EUR 2.9 billion net, and three billion gross, which means that many foreign companies such as Toyota Tires, Boysen, ZTF and Brose have invested in Serbia even in this year of crisis.

 The President said that Serbia has the highest average wages in the region, amounting to 511 or 512 euros, and that in February, due to the January increase, the average wage will be 535 or 536 euros, and that only in Belgrade in the last seven years the average wage increased by 180 euros or 40 percent.

That President said that Serbia was fourth in the region in terms of salaries before, and that today we are officially the first, and that the difference in relation to other countries will only increase faster. He also pointed out that the employment rate is growing in Serbia as well as that our public debt increased less than in most European countries. This is illustrated by the data that in Italy the public debt surged to 156 percent, in Germany to 87 percent, in France to 114 percent, in Croatia to 88 percent, while in Serbia it is at 57 percent.

 The Serbian President announced that by Sretenje, 15 February, an additional package of assistance to the economy will be earmarked, and as he explained, it will be a new capital injection for companies, the trade, entrepreneurs, small, medium and large enterprises which, as he said, concerns 1,052,000 people within that system.

 Vucic specified that it will most likely be help in the form of two or three payments amounting to half a minimum wage each, and that there will also be sectoral aid for tourism, hotel owners, travel agencies, guides, for bus carriers, through another half minimum wage payment.

 The President added that efforts will be made to extend the guarantee schemes as well, which proved to be excellent, amounting to 1.5 billion, and this time, through the same system, two more portions amounting to 500 million each could be provided.

 Vucic said that the first agreements with DFC worth 300 to 400 million dollars are expected in seven days.

 He also stated that the state will endeavour to help pensioners further, in addition to increasing pensions by 5.9 percent in January, which will be reflected in their first checks in February, and added that pensioners should by March receive symbolic aid in the form of packages with vitamin C, D and zinc, which, as the President said, are small things, but they reflect the state's care and efforts made to protect health.

 The President announced that negotiations on the procurement of the Chinese vaccine would be completed in the next seven to eight days, after the first quantities of the Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines have arrived in Serbia, and pointed out that the Chinese vaccine was of exceptional quality, but probably the most expensive, which is why he wrote to the Chinese President and asked for a discount for our country.

Vucic thanked the Americans for deciding to sell the vaccine to our country and noted that no one in the region other than Serbia has received it, except for the small quantity that Albania got.

 He pointed out that our state relied on itself and its own capacities, and that our state leadership anticipated that vaccines within the European COVAX plan would arrive late.

 The President rejected the claims about bad results of Serbia in the fight against the corona virus and stated that our country has recorded the lowest corona virus mortality rate in the region.

 He presented statistical information indicating that Slovenia had 144 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, North Macedonia 126, Bosnia and Herzegovina 123, Bulgaria 115, Montenegro 115, Hungary 110, Croatia 107, Romania 85, and Serbia 51.

 "The mortality rate in the region is as follows: Bulgaria 3.9, Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.7, Hungary 3.11, North Macedonia 3.03, Romania 2.48. Slovenia 2.15, Croatia 1.99, Montenegro 1.4, and Serbia 1.0. This can be seen in the graphs and is no fabrication", the President stressed.

 He said that the state will fight for vaccines, and that only Serbia, in the Western Balkans, received significant quantities of vaccines, other than a smaller quantity that Albania received, and added that in one day since the registration for vaccination opened, as many as 63,000 persons have registered.

 President Vucic expressed his belief that the year ahead will be better than the previous one as well as that the corona virus will be defeated through vaccination of citizens.

 

 

3 January 2021

Every Serb in the diaspora is potentially a lobbyist



Our compatriots living abroad are one of the great potentials that the state has not recognized in the right way so far, which is why a different approach is needed to the issue of how to strengthen our diaspora and use the good will of people who are potential lobbyists for the interests of Serbia and the Serbian people, Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said.

"When it comes to Serbs in the diaspora, and especially in the region, this issue has been a kind of an unattended crop which requires a lot of work, and even when a lot is done at once this is not apparent immediately ", Minister Selakovic stated in an interview with Tanjug.

He emphasized that the appointment of the Director of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region for the first time after almost seven years since this body was formed within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows that it is one of the priorities of the Ministry he is at the helm of.

Selaković notes that intensive efforts have been long underway on forming a plan to make the diaspora more visible both outside the borders of Serbia and in the mother country itself.

"Every person in the diaspora is a potential lobbyist for the interests of our country and people, and we need to find the right way to use that", he said.

That much can be done in that regar Selakovic illustrates with the fact that only in Switzerland, in 24 cities, there are Serbian cultural and artistic associations which amounts to more than 3,000 young people who get together in order to preserve our tradition, culture, the Serbian language and history.

"If they were able to set up such associations in 24 cities, it speaks volumes about the enthusiasm of these people. There is so much enthusiasm, energy and love in these people. We need to explore ways to help them and use their good will and potential", the Minister points out.

He also cites the example of an emigrant family in Canada, the Varaklic family from southwestern Serbia, who sends Christmas packages for children in the Raska region every year. He adds that they have so far donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-governmental organizations for those needs alone, but he says that we do not see that here.

"The state does not recognize this, and these are people who gained success as entrepreneurs working in a distant country, who can be serious lobbyists for Serbia, for Serbian interests, someone who represents us in the best possible way", Minister Selakovic said.

Minister Selakovic also pointed out that Arnaud Gouillon has been appointed as head of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region and described him as a man of extraordinary energy, great love for the Serbian people, which he showed in his engagement towards Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, where they were seriously endangered.

"By doing so, he showed and set an example to many of our compatriots of what an individual can do. And when one such individual focuses energy, enthusiasm and love for people, on work done within the state administration system, I think that the preconditions have been created for such activities to yield good results", Minister Selakovic said.




 

2 January 2021

Minister Selakovic: New ambassadors will be appointed this year, but the goals remain the same



This year, Serbia could finally have Ambassadors and Consuls General appointed to about a third of the currently vacant positions in the country's diplomatic and consular missions in the world, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selakovic is convinced that most of these positions will be filled, as he points out, by the best possible people.

"In the next year, I am convinced that the majority of these vacancies will be filled", Selakovic told Tanjug, emphasizing that the work is being done gradually, because the state wants to show that is has a quality staff who will represent Serbia's interests in the best possible way.

The Head of Serbian diplomacy reminded that in a number of diplomatic missions, the four-year mandate of Ambassadors and Consuls General has already expired, so that the procedure for appointing new ones will follow, after their recall.

One of the "vacant" spots is the post of the Serbian Ambassador to China.

"We are working hard to find the best possible solution for our new Ambassador to China and as we appointed one of the best people in the state system as Ambassador to the United States, who, I am sure, will perform his duties in the best possible way, I am convinced that it will be the same for the Ambassador in Beijing", Selakovic said.

The Minister, who took over the foreign policy sector in the Government a little over two months ago, points out that circumstances in the world, as well as Serbia's position in it, have changed, but that Serbia's foreign policy goals do not change: the country remains strategically committed to European integration and, while pursuing the EU path, it will also strengthen traditional friendships with Russia and China, as well as promote and strengthen new partner relations with the United States.

"Relations in the region, good-neighborly relations, regional cooperation are also important for Serbia, because this fits into the set of requirements on the European path. But, even regardless of the European path, it is always important who you live next to, who you live with, what your neighbors are like and what the relations are like in the neighborhood", Minister Selakovic said.

He also points out that the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is of inestimable importance, it being the main national and state issue for Serbia and the Serbian people.

"When I say that circumstances are changing, but not the goals - the EU and European integration was our goal seven years ago as well, but look at what our room for maneuver was then, in terms of economic aspects, and look at it today. Circumstances changed, and then you adjust your actions to these changed circumstances, to the best extent possible", Minister Selakovic said.

He reminds that foreign policy priorities for 2021 were also outlined by the President of the Republic, and that maintaining peace and stability in the region is the absolute priority.

"Only in a peaceful and stable region of the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe can Serbia thrive economically, culturally and scientifically - in every respect. Peace and stability in the region  are “sine qua non” without which there is no development and progress. Serbia has acted, is acting and will act as a factor that stabilizes the entire region and maintains peace in the region, showing that it is the region that benefits everyone the most", Minister Selakovic said.

Relations in the region have always been complex, and the region, Minister Selakovic noted, is to our great regret, burdened with issues that we cannot have a bearing on, and which concern
the past.

Serbia's approach is to seek room to influence what is happening today and what will happen
happen in the future.

In this context, he states that the so-called "mini-Schengen" initiative for market unification of the region, which originated from Aleksandar Vucic and was met with a positive response from the Prime Ministers of Albania and North Macedonia, is one of the opportunities to do much more for the region.

"To show how much more we can do if we act together and if we seek our common denominators, and not what separates and divides us ", Selakovic points out.

When it comes to relations with the United States, Selakovic said that one should not expect the great powers to change their positions the way we would like, want or imagine, but that it is important that the Ambassador in Washington, Marko Djuric, also emphasized that his task, among other things, will be to make efforts to change the climate in bilateral relations with the United States - the most important country in the world, as our lacking communication with them in the past seriously affected the position of the Serbian people and Serbia.

"I am convinced that Djuric will work seriously on that, together with President Vucic, Prime Minister Brnabic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and contribute to a large extent to changing that climate", Minister Selakovic said.


He points out that it is extremely important for Serbia to promote its partner relations with the United States to a higher level.

"This is a country with which we cooperate closely in many areas and a country with which we must strive, and not give up in doing so, to find what we have in common, our common ground and good examples of our cooperation in the past, and to create space for such cooperation in the future as well", Minister Selakovic concluded.




 

 

29 December 2020

President Vucic: Serbia to remain on the course of a winning policy of stability

 

 

Preservation of peace, taking care of the health and better living standard are key for Serbia in 2021, underlined President of the Republic Aleksandar Vucic, convinced that even though the completion of this ambitious and by no means easy task will be anything but straightforward, best results can be achieved by working in concert with the Government, while ensuring security and a future of certainty for the citizens.

The President said that Serbia has set for itself great and ambitious goals for the next year, notwithstanding the complex international and regional circumstances, and that it will endeavour to fully preserve peace and stability in the region and the country, while safeguarding the vital national and state interests.

"Serbia will remain on the course of a winning policy - the policy of stability", President Vucic said and stressed that our country remains on the European integration path and that it will carefully foster its friendship with Russia and China, while building a friendship with the United States as well.

According to the President, Serbia will continue to pursue a winning policy, with the country itself as a top priority, i.e., a policy that will enable Serbia to continue being one of the top three countries in Europe in terms of growth rate in the next two years.

A precondition for that, the President noted, is to crack down on criminal groups, but also to ensure even bigger investments in the police and army forces.

"Serbia is the country that recorded the highest growth in Europe in 2020", the President pointed out at the annual press conference and added that he expects to conclude a new arrangement with the IMF, as well as that Serbia, by the end of next year or early 2022, will raise its credit rating to an "investment" one, which will put our country's rating on par with the most developed EU countries.

As the greatest success in 2020, Vucic noted that Serbia will end the year with the highest growth rate in Europe, which, as he said, is expected to be from minus 0.75 percent to minus one.

"I am proud to be the President of a country that is the European champion in terms of GDP",  Vucic pointed out and added that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also pleased with Serbia's success.


According to President Vucic, this result will encourage Serbia to accelerate its European path, while continuing friendships with those who did not turn their backs on Serbia when it was at its darkest hour, namely Russia and China.

The President pointed out that the activities to attract foreign investors will continue, then that work will be done on investments in agriculture, primarily the food industry, new machinery, and digitalization of agriculture.

President Vucic also emphasized that the goal is for salaries in the public sector to average between 560 and 570 euros by the end of the year. Only in Belgrade, the average salary would be around 700 euros. 

President Vucic reminded that the salaries of health care workers will increase by five percent from January 1, while the salaries of others in the public sector will increase by 3.5 percent and an additional 1.5 percent as of April 1, while corporal, private first class and non-commissioned officer army ranks will get an increase of an additional 10 percent. He noted that the minimum wage will be increased by 6.6 percent and so will pensions from January 1, by 5.9 percent, with the plan that the average pension amounts to 270 euros by the end of 2021. The President especially pointed out investments in health care, reminding that two new covid hospitals have been opened and that the renovation and construction of health facilities continues throughout Serbia, while stressing that Serbia is by far the first in the region in terms of hospitalized persons per 100,000 citizens, which is why it has recorded a low mortality rate , and also that Serbia this year has been among the top three countries in the region according to the number of PCR tests performed.

Speaking about tourism, the President said that, next year, efforts will be made on the development of the Danube basin region, from Apatin to Kladovo, that the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge will be developed, as well as our mountain centers.

Discussing the field of culture and information, President Vucic said that the implementation of the media strategy and the completion of the reconstruction of the National Theater in Subotica are important for next year, and he announced investments in museums, especially emphasizing the relocation of the History Museum to the train station building. He also stated that the floor heating in the Church of Saint Sava will be completed next year.

He pointed out that the state will continue to take care of our citizens in Kosovo and Metohija, that no one can forbid Serbia to help its people, and that Serbia will not give up on helping our people.

As he emphasized, Serbia is ready to send medicines and vaccines to the Albanian population as well, and pointed out that in the upcoming period our country will pursue a policy of peace in the region and will endeavour to cooperate with Zagreb, Sarajevo, Podgorica and others.
 

 

 

Serbian Prime Minister the first PM in Europe to receive a Covid-19 vaccine

 


Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabic received today the first vaccine against the coronavirus made by Pfizer company, at the Torlak Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera.

Brnabic, who is the first European Prime Minister to receive the vaccine, pointed out that this day may be the first since 6 March that we have a reason for a smile on our faces as it marks the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic in Serbia, but also in Europe and the world.

As Prime Minister and as someone who leads the COVID-19 Crisis Response Team, I felt obliged to be the first to receive the vaccine, to show that we believe in it, as well as in our institutions - the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia and experts who worked round the clock to test the vaccine, she said.

Underlining that it was an honour to do this for her country and be the first to pave the way for all citizens, the Prime Minister said that she agreed with President of the Republic Aleksandar Vucic that the two of them receive different vaccines, so he will most likely receive the next one that arrives, most probably the one produced by China.

At the moment we have the Pfizer-BioNTech consortium vaccine, and the vaccines from the Chinese Sinopharm are expected in the near future, as well as certain quantities of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

She expressed her belief that at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of next year we will have the vaccine of the company AstraZeneca, and after that the vaccine manufactured by Moderna.

As we promised, all vaccines licensed in their countries and approved by relevant international agencies will be available to our citizens, and of course they will be tested by all of our agencies and institutes as well, the Prime Minister pointed out.

She said that prior to the vaccination of health care workers, Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar will also receive a vaccine shot as we endeavour to serve as an example and show how confident we are in the vaccines and institutions.

Brnabic pointed out that Serbia, not counting Great Britain, is the first country in Europe to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the third to start a mass immunization and campaign for giving the vaccine - after Great Britain and Switzerland.

We achieved something very important and we will not stop even for a moment until the immunization of the population is completed, the Prime Minister said.

She specified that our country will receive another 16,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in January, as well as that together with other vaccines we will have a total of one million doses in January, and a total of approximately two million doses during the first quarter of next year.

There is a dynamic on which Pfizer delivers vaccines and it varies depending on the production, and this is the case with deliveries to both Serbia and all other countries worldwide. We expected to receive 10,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech in December, however 4,807 doses arrived, the Prime Minister explained.

Serbia demonstrated that it is able to fight and succeed if we all work as a team, Brnabic said and called on all not to see the beginning of vaccination as the end of the fight already, but to continue to apply all measures instead.

This is to be certain and to be able to help our health care workers, and once the immunity is acquired we will be able to slowly start taking off the masks in 2021, but until then we should not see this as a victory but as the beginning of the end, the Prime Minister concluded.

After the Prime Minister, vaccine shots were also administered to the Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs and a member of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Team Darija Kisic Tepavcevic and to Predrag Kon who is also on the COVID-19 Crisis Response Team.

Furthermore, vaccine shots were also given to Head of the MMA Department for the Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infections prof. Dr. Vesna Suljagic and academician Predrag Pesko, professor of Belgrade and Heidelberg universities and full member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

The first quantities of the vaccine arrived in Serbia on 22 December, and today they will be administered to patrons of nursing homes in Belgrade and Novi Sad.

Serbia is the first country in the region to receive a shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In addition to procuring the vaccine among the first countries in the world, even before EU countries, Serbia is one of the rare countries that managed to build and open two covid hospitals in record time. The hospitals with 930 beds in Batajnica and 500 beds in Krusevac are a major contribution to the expansion of capacities and strengthening the health care system in the fight against coronavirus and, as President Vucic said, represent a monument of the future, that will talk about the accomplishments the state made in a short time.

Also, we recall that investments in health infrastructure have been large in Serbia, and since 2016, 80 health centers and clinics have been renovated, and works are underway on six large health centers. This way more than EUR 200 million was invested in the reconstruction, construction and equipping of hospitals and more than 300 million in the renovation of clinics and specialized hospitals, and many have already been completed, such as the University Children's Hospital Tiršova, and KBC Zemun nad KBC "Dragiša Mišović" hospitals.

The absolute priority of the Serbian Government is the successful completion of health infrastructure projects that are underway, but great attention is also paid to health workers,
whose salaries have, by 2020, been increased by 56.8% for specialist doctors, and 66.9% for
nurses, while significant funding is invested in the education of health professionals, as well as in equipment and working conditions.

Like other countries, Serbia has faced great challenges this year, most notably health challenges, and all factors in the state were focused on preventing the spread of the virus and safeguarding the lives and health of citizens. Serbia has faced these challenges better than many wealthier and more developed countries in Europe and the world.

Belgrade,
24 December 2020
________________________________________________________________________________________________

18.12.2020.

Minister Selakovic met with leadership of the Danube Commission in Budapest

 

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selakovic met today in Budapest with leadership of the Danube Commission and discussed importance of the Danube for the promotion of regional economy and an intensive flow of people and goods.

The interlocutors assessed that it is important to use the economic potentials of the Danube, but also to preserve its natural beauties, i.e., to meet the environmental standards.

Minister Selakovic emphasized that Serbia will be able to invest more in infrastructure on the Danube, owing to the successfully implemented reforms in the past years, and to take part in the implementation of the strategic projects of the Danube Commission.

Minister Selakovic wrote into the visitors' book that, since it was founded in Belgrade in 1948, the Danube Commission has been a thread of cooperation and friendship among the member countries. 

"The Danube was a river of peace throughout all the difficult periods in the turbulent history of our region", Selakovic wrote down.

Source: Tanjug

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Minister Selakovic: Full EU membership remains a priority of the new Government

 

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selakovic had talks today via video link with Head of EU Delegation in Serbia Sem Fabrizi and Ambassadors of the EU Member States.

On this occasion, the Serbian Foreign Minister emphasized that full membership of the EU remained one of the key foreign policy priorities of the Serbian Government, and that the European integration process was a strategic goal also aimed at promoting the quality of the society.

Minister Selakovic pointed out that Serbia was ready for an acceleration of the accession process' dynamic which is why it accepted the new methodology in the first place, and that it is now hoping that it will, in the period ahead, receive clearer guidelines on its implementation in the negotiating process.

The Minister said that Serbia has taken a number of important steps forward in the reform process, which were not fully reflected in the European Commission's Annual Progress Report.

The Minister reminded that our country opened 18 out of 35 negotiating chapters with the EU since 2014, provisionally closing two, and that it is at this point ready to open five new chapters.

Discussing the talks between Belgrade and Pristina, Minister Selakovic noted that the only right path towards a sustainable agreement was through dialogue and compromise.

He explained that it was necessary that topics of the talks include the issues being ignored by Pristina for years, despite having committed to them under the Brussels Agreement, such as the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities.

The Minister added that Serbia is deeply devoted to regional cooperation and that, as an important country of the region aiming to contribute to overall stability, our side has through its steps, among others, significantly contributed to decreasing the tensions with Montenegro.

Minister Selakovic also said that Serbia was very grateful to the EU and its Member States for the financial assistance, particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Belgrade, 16 December 2020

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

J. Joksimović and Roth on Serbia’s negotiations and new methodology

 

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has held a video meeting today with Michael Roth, the Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office. They have discussed the current epidemiological situation in the two countries and the EU, as well as Serbia’s European integration process.

Joksimović and Roth have also talked about the issues related to the EU’s internal situation, particularly regarding the new seven-year budget, the place and the future of the enlargement policy and the Western Balkans, notably about all aspects of Serbia’s accession process, challenges and expectations from the new methodology, which should bring a faster negotiation process that would be better monitored and directed under stronger political steering.

Joksimović has particularly informed Roth about the fact that the Government of Serbia prepared a concrete implementation plan for the first negotiation cluster on the rule of law, which comprises five rule-of-law chapters that have already been opened, adding that the realisation of the plan has already begun.

“This serious implementation plan includes a repeated initiative sent to the National Assembly for the adoption of constitutional amendments, the adoption of the Action Plan for the implementation of the Media Strategy, as well as the Working Group on monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan and the Working Group on journalist safety and protection”, said Joksimović, according to the press release published by the Ministry of European Integration.

She has also stressed that GRECO recommendations for the fight against corruption have been published in a transparent way, and that further actions will be taken in line with them.

She has further presented all other important segments of Serbia’s reform policy in all six clusters, including Green Agenda, digitisation, Economic and Investment Plan for the WB, and stable and sound macroeconomic indicators, stressing that, therefore, this year, Serbia has again undeniably demonstrated that it deeply and substantively participates in key EU policies and that it is a credible European country.

Joksimović has emphasised that Serbia understands that the EU and member states will need some more time to define the application of the new methodology to Serbia’s negotiation process, and that it is therefore important to maintain a constant and open dialogue so as to direct the process in line with the new methodology.

She has expressed regret that conclusions on enlargement have not been adopted this year and that, consequently, the political Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia has not been held during the German presidency.

On the other hand, the Minister has expressed belief that the upcoming Stabilisation and Association Council will offer an opportunity to discuss all political and economic aspects of Serbia’s process at the highest level.

Roth has thanked Minister Joksimović for the information and issues she shared, as well as for Serbia’s proactive approach regarding reforms and active acceptance of the new methodology.

He has underlined that Germany supports Serbia and the enlargement policy, particularly welcoming all significant steps that the new Serbian Government has already taken, especially regarding cluster 1 – rule of law, where he stressed that they are an important and positive signal for Serbia’s European path.

He has agreed with Minister Joksimović about the need to urgently define the application of the new methodology to countries that are already in the accession process, where clusters of European policies and Serbia’s participation therein become an instrument for measuring progress in the accession process.

He has conveyed that Germany will advocate the holding of the political Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia in the first half of 2021.

The interlocutors have particularly discussed the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, agreeing that it represents another proof that the European Union gives strategic importance to a stable and sustainable development of the region, particularly in difficult circumstances of curbing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joksimović has thanked Minister Roth for Germany’s long-term and concrete assistance to Serbia’s European integration, not only at the political level, but also through providing development assistance for financing reform projects, and successful strategic investments that have created a significant number of new jobs.

The interlocutors have also agreed that it is extremely important that, through the COVAX Facility, Serbia has ensured that its access to vaccines procured by the EU will be almost simultaneous with the EU member states’ access.
 

 

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

 

On the occasion of 10 December, the international Human Rights Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia reaffirms its commitment to the principles and values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on this day in 1948.

The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have been the foundation for the development of international law in this field, and of the international system for the promotion and protection of human rights, as a unique achievement of modern civilization. It is incumbent upon us today to safeguard and strengthen the international system ensuring respect for human rights, to develop human rights standards, control the implementation of commitments, and also to continue cooperating with international and regional institutions on the protection of human rights.

Serbia is fully committed to the universal values of human rights and implementing in practice the international legal instruments relating to human rights. Our continued cooperation with the Human Rights Council mechanisms in the framework of the United Nations, with the Council of Europe and the mechanisms of the OSCE human dimension, represents an important segment of activities carried out by all state authorities, thus demonstrating our consistent commitment to the implementation of international human rights standards.

The international Human Rights Day is an opportunity to point out once again that Serb and other non-Albanian population is being deprived of its rights in Kosovo and Metohija and to call again on the international community to ensure the respect for the guaranteed international human rights norms and contribute to creating conditions for the return of internally displaced persons and giving them back their usurped property.  

 

 

President meets the ambassadors of the EU member states accredited to Serbia and the head of the European Union Delegation

8th December 2020



The President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić met today the ambassadors of EU Member States accredited to Serbia and the Head of the EU Delegation Sem Fabrizi in the Palace of Serbia, to talk to them about topics such as dynamics of the accession negotiations between Serbia and EU, stability in the region, regional projects, as well as the Economic and Investment Plan presented by the European Commission together with the Enlargement package.
President Vučić once again confirmed that cooperation with the European Union and fully-fledged membership of Serbia remain one of the key foreign policy priorities of our country. He particularly emphasised that in this respect Serbia is honestly dedicated to further and deeper reforms, approaching them with responsibility and seriousness, and that it tries to adopt and apply the best practice through cooperation with institutions of the EU and its member states.
 
"Serbia will continue being dedicated to the promotion of peace and stability in the region, by improving bilateral relations with neighbours, and by strengthening regional cooperation while respecting all concluded agreements", President Vučić stated, adding that the European future of the Western Balkans is of utmost importance for both stability of the entire region and security and further prosperity of the EU.
 
Ambassadors pointed out that declarations on the common regional market and the Western Balkans green agenda, which were signed by Serbia and all leaders of the region, received a warm welcome in Brussels and EU Member Stated, and that good and solid connectivity and integration of the region largely facilitates the cooperation of the very Union with the Western Balkans in all areas of joint interest.
 
"As much as 70% of foreign investments come from the countries whose representatives are sitting here today", Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi said, adding that Serbia can rest assured the EU will continue supporting and investing in the Serbian economy. While Covid-19 has put all economies under stress, Serbian economy has resisted and proved its resilience.  With the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, the EU will remain Serbia's strongest partner for economic recovery which will support infrastructures, green and digital transition. We welcome the announced reforms in the areas of rule of law, including judiciary reforms and media freedom. This is precisely the base for acceleration of the accession process and we encourage the new government to keep working and implementing in this direction", Fabrizi said.
 
President Vučić pointed out that Serbia highly appreciates that the EU, despite numerous challenges it is facing has managed to preserve the enlargement issue on its agenda, especially through the recent adoption of a new, changed methodology of the negotiation process.
 
"In this respect, we expect from the EU that Serbia's accession negotiation dynamics follows and values our reform efforts", President Vučić said pointing out that Serbia is ready to continue working with its European partners on implementation of the reforms and numerous joint projects.
 
President Vučić particularly noted that Serbia welcomes the Economic and investment plan presented by the EC together with the Enlargement package, and expressed our country's readiness to continue working with the partners in the region on the implementation of this Plan so as to improve the economic potential of the region and achieve better infrastructure connection, which would bring us closer to the single European market.
 
"In this context, we hope the Multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 will be adopted soon, because that will mean a possibility to use funds designed for reform implementation in Serbia and in the region", President Vučić said, reiterating that Serbia remains on its European path with an honest faith in cooperation with the European partners.
 
"2020 has been an extremely difficult year for all, especially the impact of COVID–19. When I look at new Government's commitment to implement reforms, the Economic and Investment Plan of the EU, the new methodology and increased cooperation to fight COVID-19, I see 2021 with a much more favourable perspective for progressing the enlargement", Fabrizi concluded.
 
President Vučić also pointed out that Serbia is prepared to work intensively with the EU Member States on finding an adequate response to the new challenges, such as COVID-19 pandemic.
 
 


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Daily News 
Statements 
Photo Gallery 


National Assembly

President of the Republic of Serbia

Serbian Government

Ministry of Foreign Affairs