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Concluding her Western Balkans visit on 19 April in Serbia – after visiting Tirana, Skopje and Podgorica – Federica Mogherini sent a message reaffirming the real and tangible EU perspective of the entire region. She also confirmed, as stated in the 2018 report on Serbia, that the country is advancing well on its European Union integration path and highlighted the scope of the current EU - Serbia cooperation in different fields.
Federica Mogherini concluded her Western Balkans trip saying that she was "impressed by the energy, the commitment, the ambitions and the willingness everywhere, including obviously here in Belgrade, to move forward on the reform path towards European Union membership". She further sent a message reaffirming the "credible, real and tangible" EU perspective of the entire region.
Referring to the 2018 report on Serbia, Mogherini noted that "it is clear that negotiations with Serbia are advancing well on the European Union integration path of the country, with 12 out of 35 chapters open in negotiations and the good prospect of opening further chapters under the current Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union". On the areas where further progress remains to be done, Federica Mogherini stressed the "determination and political commitment" of the Serbian leadership "to make swift progress in the coming period also in these areas".
The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which is facilitated by the High Representative, was also discussed. Mogherini said "we spoke about the new phase of the dialogue towards the objective to achieve a legally binding agreement on normalisation of relations". She insisted on "the need for the full implementation of all the agreements achieved five years after the Brussels Agreement was reached", including on the establishment of the Association/Community of the Serb Majority Municipalities and the implementation of the Energy Agreement.
Mogherini also highlighted the magnitude of the European Union - Serbia cooperation in different fields. She noted that this cooperation was "the backbone of the path of Serbia towards the European Union" , but also already today shows the way in which the European Union and Serbia are walking hand in hand and working together for the benefit of Serbian citizens".
The European Union is the biggest trading partner and the biggest investment partner with almost 80 per cent of foreign direct investment coming from the European Union. In 2017, over 3000 participants (students, researchers, professors, and academics) participated in Erasmus+. Serbia has received a strong support from the European Union budget: €4 billion in the period of 2000 – 2020, and €4 billion of European investment bank loans since 2009. Serbia was granted EU candidate status in March 2012.