03.10.2020. - 22:34

President Vučić attends the meeting with the National Convention on the European Union representatives

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić attended today a meeting with representatives of the National Convention on the European Union, aimed to enable a debate between civil society representatives and top Serbian officials on key aspects of Serbia's accession to the European Union. The topics of the meeting were the foreign policy of Serbia and the perspectives of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

"The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has shown how dangerous are the so-called frozen conflicts because everything that is frozen one day will get "defrosted" by someone. In that conflict, we saw the absolute impotence of the entire international community. It is a lesson for us. 
"The situation in the world has changed, there are more particular interests, and we must be ready to preserve the country at all times. I am against maintaining a frozen conflict anywhere in the Balkans, including our country," said President Vučić at the meeting of the National Convention on the EU. He added we must try to compromise with the Albanians, as we should do all we can not to contribute to the ignition of any additional outbursts in Bosnia and Herzegovina because, the President said, he cannot say he is not worried about the situation and the messages we receive from that side of the Drina river.
President Vučić said the most important thing is that Serbia wants to preserve peace and stability, which is not a cliché, but it must be done at almost any cost. He said that the situation in the world is complex and that Serbia is in a particularly difficult situation as a small country at the crossroads that has problems with territorial integrity.
"I do not have to say how many representatives of different countries, who wanted to point out to me a potential violation of Resolution 478 on the issue of Jerusalem, reminded me that everyone had violated Resolution 1244 a long time ago and did not care about it," said President Vučić. He pointed out that the entire foreign policy of Serbia has two main objectives: positioning the country and preserving stability and peace in the region, and economic progress of the state.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

President Vučić reminded that Serbia - in the last five years especially - following the economic reforms and fiscal consolidation, is not only a leader in the Western Balkans, but also one of the most successful European countries, convincingly in terms of economic growth, in the fight against coronavirus and the state of the budget deficit, and - in comparison to less and middle developed countries - in public debt to GDP ratio.
"We managed that by believing in our work, effort, despite everyone's scepticism. We succeeded thanks to a large number of investments, which the state managed to diversify," said President Vučić, adding that Serbia had 1,615 billion euros of foreign direct investment in the first seven months despite the pandemic, which is an almost surreal result. He announced that the state will pay special attention to the green agenda, but will not run away from the reindustrialisation of the country, even though they are working on deindustrialisation in Europe.
President Vučić pointed out that Serbia had reduced the unemployment rate from the previous 29.5 per cent to a historical minimum of 7.3 per cent. He emphasised that political strength is important, as much as a country can make useful contacts, agreements with various countries and organisations, that political power reflects in making alliances, but that the strength of the economy, army and health is also essential.
"We are on the European path, we will continue to fight for the acceleration of European integration, but we will not give up the right to an opinion, the right to express the truth to anyone. We are proud that Serbia is an independent state that makes decisions independently," said President Vučić. 

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

The coordinator of the National Convention for the EU, Nataša Dragojlović, said that the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is "an issue of all issues" for Serbia and that it determines Serbia's relations with the EU, the USA, as well as relations in the region and other countries.
"We should also ask ourselves what our relations with them will look like, once the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is resolved and what will be left of the strategic partnerships created only or mostly in that context. To agree on strategic interests, we need a dialogue in the society about what strategic interests are for Serbia, how to achieve them and with the help of which allies, but also how to contribute to the development of others around us," said Nataša Dragojlović and pointed out that President Vučić responded to the initiative of the working group for Chapter 35 to renew the internal dialogue on potential issues of Kosovo and Metohija. She stated that the dialogue should enable a broad and comprehensive view of the complexity of the moment in which the whole world and Serbia are at the end of 2020 when everything is in question - concepts, ideologies, alliances, current practice and way of life in each of its segments.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

The coordinator of the National Convention for the EU said that everything had changed a lot since December 2019, when the new National Security Strategy of Serbia was adopted, a document that protects the national interests of our country in all areas of life, representing an umbrella strategy from which all other strategies should derive.
"Their creation and implementation imply the joint engagement of all actors in society, both governmental and non-governmental. In our case and according to that strategy, the only document that defines all national goals of Serbia, Serbia's accession to the EU and European integration are among the key national interests", Nataša Dragojlović emphasised and added that jeopardising those interests should be considered as endangering the security of Serbia. She pointed out that goals and national interests must be set under the influence of all crises that the world is facing, and that funds should be directed to the most real threats, and currently it is the public health of citizens.

Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

Following the first part of the meeting with the National Convention on the EU, President Vučić thanked Nataša Dragojlović who successfully organised today's event, as well as everyone for participating in an open, sometimes calm and constructive, and sometimes fierce debate. 
"We had open talks. On some issues we agree, on many - we do not. I listened to their remarks, and they listened to my answers. It is good to talk and that there is this kind of dialogue in society," concluded President Vučić and stressed that Serbia does not have a better path than the European path and will proceed on it while preserving traditional friendships.
03rd October 2020

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