Thursday, 28 August 2014. PDF Print E-mail
European integration is the fastest way to reach high standards, says Dacic at the Conference on the Western Balkans
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Ivica DacicThe First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dacic said at the WB Conference being held today in Berlin that the Western Balkans was the region of peace and stability which expected a speedy accession to the European Union. Speaking as one of the panellists of the Ministerial-level discussion entitled "Economic governance and EU integration", Minister Dacic thanked the German Federal Government and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the initiative and his personal involvement in convening the Conference.

Minister Dacic emphasized that the new EU approach favoured the opening of chapters 23 and 24 relating to the rule of law and the fight against corruption at the very start of the negotiating process, in the best interest of the candidate countries for membership. "European integration is the most effective and quickest way of meeting the high standards in these fields which are instrumental in the comprehensive development of the state and society and in ensuring economic growth and social prosperity. Serbia's priorities are the state governed by the rule of law and the rule of law itself. This is, at the same time, preconditions for attracting foreign investments and activating small and medium-sized enterprises in Serbia", said Dacic.

The Serbian Foreign Minister pointed out that the Judicial Reform Strategy and the Anti-Corruption Strategy, listing all measures to be taken and indicating the timescale for their implementation, were adopted in the course of 2013.

As far the improvement of the legislation in these major areas is concerned, Dacic underlined that EU bilateral assistance, and support of countries like Germany, was important to Serbia.

The Serbian Foreign Minister stated that efforts should be made to attract potential investors by improving the legal framework and enforcing the adopted laws, and through putting in place the practice of zero tolerance of corruption.

Minister Dacic indicated that Serbia was not asking the EU to relax its membership criteria, and that in the context of an accelerated European integration of the WB region, it was willing to deepen the cooperation with both the countries which have more advanced in the process than Serbia did and the countries yet to take significant steps in that direction.

"We consider it important for every country to make progress on its own merit without the imposed requirement of progressing at the same speed", Minister Dacic concluded his statement.