"The European Union is by far Serbia's first political, trade and economic partner" stated European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini following the fourth EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council she chaired on 16 November together with Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić.
The High Representative welcomed the fact that the Serbian government has shown "strong commitment and determination to further reforms with the spirit of meeting the expectations of the Serbian citizens". The country has opened ten chapters, with two of them being provisionally closed. The Serbian government is expected to further continue with the implementation of the reforms in the different sectors, especially in the areas of rule of law, but also justice reform, anti-corruption and fundamental rights, highlighted by Mogherini as "key elements in our negotiations".
On the European Union facilitated Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Mogherini appreciated Serbia's commitment (including with the launch of the internal dialogue on Kosovo) and reaffirmed the continued EU support to reaching normalisation of the relations between the two sides. Serbia's active and constructive contribution to reinforce cooperation in the region was also valued. Mogherini reminded that "reconciliation and regional cooperation were key and core principles on which the European Union was built, enabling former adversaries to become partners".
The European Union perspective of Serbia and of the entire Western Balkan region was reaffirmed. "The European Union commitment – I think it is a shared commitment- is stronger than never" stressed the High Representative referring to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker's State of the Union address.
Mogherini is also chairing this week the Stabilisation and Association Councils with Albania (15/11) and Kosovo (17/11).