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Serbia strives for EU-integrated, stable Western Balkans: PM

BELGRADE, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Although it does not share the same Euro-Atlantic vision as other Western Balkan countries, Serbia wishes to be a part of the European Union (EU) for reasons of peace and security as well as adoption of its values and standards, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said Thursday.

Speaking in a speech at the opening of the 7th EU-Southeast Europe summit here, Brnabic said Serbia wishes to improve its level of the rule of law as well as the transparency and efficiency of public administration, with the end goal of attracting foreign investments, obtaining access to greater funds, cheaper loans and building a more successful economy.

According to Brnabic, Serbia implements reforms for the sake of its own development, and is ambivalent to possibility of entering the EU sooner or later than expected, although it looks forward to 2025 as the framework date set by the European Commission.

The country’s most important motivation to become EU member is peace, she said, estimating that Europe’s seven decades of peace must also expand to the Balkans region. Brnabic reminded that unlike other regional countries, Serbia has no intention of becoming a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), although it nurtures a high level of cooperation with NATO through the Partnership for Peace.

Brnabic highlighted Montenegro as the current leader in EU integration with 32 out of 35 EU acquis chapters opened so far, while Serbia is the runner-up in the process with 13 chapters opened and two closed.

Moreover, according to her, Serbia supports opening of negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, as well as resolution of all regional political issues.

She concluded that the results of economic reforms and fiscal consolidation can be realized only if the region maintains stability, because the “ideas on possible instability might scare of the investors and make loans more expensive”.

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