Prime Minister: Humiliated Serbia Is A Factor Of Instability

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic invited EU countries to make an effort and achieve minimum of mutual interests with Serbia in solving the issue of Kosovo and Metohija and Serbia’s road to EU.

It is a Serbian national interest to join EU, and that government and top state officials’ position is indisputable, said Dacic.

“I want to say this once again, we are not doing this for EU, but for Serbia and Serbian citizens”, said Dacic.

Dacic said at the beginning of Kopaonik Business Forum that he believes that it is mutual interest of Serbia and EU to be strategic partners in solving these issues that are of great importance for Serbia, so that the country could become a stability factor in the Balkans.

“An unstable Serbia, whose people are humiliated, can be a factor of instability, and we wish for Serbia to be a synonym for peace and safety”, said Serbian Prime Minister.

Growing Number Of Serbs Don’t Want EU

Support of Serbian citizens to country joining European Union has sunk to the lowest level in the last decade, and is 41 percent, writes daily Danas.

Research conducted in December last year for Serbian government’s Office for European integration shows that there has been a significant fall among Europe-enthusiasts in the second half of 2012, by a startling eight percent in relation to June 2012.

The research will, Danas writes, be published officially in two days.

According to the previous research conducted by the Office for European integration in the middle of 2012, 49 percent of citizens supported Serbia’s entry in EU, while 25 percent were against. Researches of public opinion on EU integration have been conducted since September 2002, when 68 percent of citizens supported Serbia’s entry in the EU, while 13 percent were against.

Prime Ministers Of Serbia And Croatia Meeting: Cooperation And Support

After the meeting in Belgrade with the Croatian Prime Minister, Serbian PM Ivica Dacic said that the relations of the two countries are of key significance in the region, and that their governments should cooperate in realizing their goals.

His Croatian colleague Zoran Milanovic said that Croatia supports Serbian European integration and that it is ready to help as a neighbor.

Serbian PM said that he talked with his Croatian colleague about three groups of questions, namely the open issues from Croatian and Serbian past, the economic cooperation and the question of European integration.

Dacic said that it has been arranged for the mutual relations, after certain break, should move in direction of normalization.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that “Croatia is supporting Serbia on the way to EU, not just in words, but in reality, because that is in our interest. Serbia will have a more difficult job than other, new member countries of EU. We have the experience, and we don’t want to be anyone’s mentor, because we were mentors to ourselves, but we do want to be associates and neighbors”.

Still Record Numbers Of Asylum Seekers From Serbia

During the month of November, with 1.306 asylum applications, most asylum seekers who try to seek asylum in Germany once again came from Serbia. That number is, however, two times lower in comparison with October, when Serbian citizens sent 2.673 applications, reported German Federal Department for Migrations and Refugees.

After Serbia, most asylum applications in Germany come from Syria, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russian Federation, Iran, Macedonia, Iraq, Pakistan and Kosovo.

“Federal Department for migrations and asylum seekers brought certain mesures at my request, to work against the strong wave of refugees from Serbia and Macedonia”, said German federal minister of interior Hans-Peter Dietrich.

Great number of “fake asylum seekers” from Macedonia and Serbia, among which, according to German data, more than 90 percent are Roma population, was also mentioned as the possible reason for EU to return the visa regime for citizens of Serbia and Macedonia. “Fake asylum seekers” applied for asylum in EU countries because of alleged discrimination in Serbia. However, as the Serbian police sources claim, the only motive for applying for asylum was the intention of the seekers to obtain the financial support given by the EU countries while they are in the asylum seeking procedure.

Angela Vs Suzana

Even though German chancellor Angela Merkel stated in her speech in Bundestag that Germany will not decide on association negotiation with other countries, because it is still not the time for that, Serbian vice-premier for European integration Suzana Grubjesic claims that Serbia will start the EU membership negotiations by end of June.

She considers that no new conditions will be imposed on Serbia.

March is most probably the next important date for Serbia, because that is the time the European Commission could give a recommendation to start the negotiations by June, said Suzana Grubjesic.

The agreement has been made at the most recent meeting of EU diplomacy chiefs that Serbia will get the date of negotiations by end of June if the evaluation of progress turns out positive. Country that objected the most to giving Serbia negotiations date on that meeting was Germany.

Green Light For Serbia Via Twitter?

While the citizens of Serbia waited impatiently the result of EU diplomats meeting who decided about the possible negotiations date for the country, news from the meeting arrived via twitter, sent by Swedish diplomat Carl Bildt and other EU officials.

Eventually it all ended with the twitter messages, since the official statement is yet to be made. Serbian citizens are still unsure whether the EU will wait until spring to set the date of the negotiations start, or if everything will be postponed.

However, tweet that comes closest to solving this dillema was sent by European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule who wrote that “the beginning of negotiations with Serbia, if the progress continues, is possible in the first half of next year.”

Fule previously tweeted that the member states of EU have adopted enlargement conclusions that “clearly express the will to maintain the momentum in this crucial EU policy.”

Cyprus holds current presidency of EU Council (from 1st of July to 31st of December 2012), and will be succeeded by Ireland, which will take over from 1st of January until 30th of June 2013. The EU Council is presided by three countries which take turns at this position every six months, from 1st of July until 30th of June following year.

Serbia Would Give Up EU Over Kosovo

Head of Serbian diplomacy Ivan Mrkic said that the country would give up its bid for membership in European Union if it would be conditioned by Kosovo recognition.

“We would then give up the membership”, said Mrkic in an interview given to German paper “Der Tagesspiegel” in response to what would happen if the EU demanded from Serbia to recognize Kosovo as one of the EU membership conditions.

Asked if Serbia could recognize Kosovo independence if the simultaneous territory exchange were to take place, Mrkic responded that “history teaches us that all options are possible during political negotiations”..

“We would like for Kosovo Albanians to be able to lead a normal life and have no interest in seeing them suffer in any way”, said Mrkic.

Dental Tourism In Serbia

More and more citizens of Croatia and Slovenia, but also from other
countries in Europe are coming to Serbia due to prices of dental
services that are on average three times lower than in their native
countries.

Serbian dentists claim that foreigners most often arrive to their
offices when there is a need to perform more complex denture
procedures.

For implants that would cost around 10 000 euros in their native
countries, foreigners save up to 7 000 euros by coming to Serbia to
get them.

On top of that, expertise of Serbian dentists is considered to be at a
very high level, and the quality of services is identical to that in
EU countries.

“Dental tourism”, as it is known, is not a new thing in EU countries.
In places where the dental services are higher than in the neighboring
country, dental clinics are often opened in border towns so that the
potential patients could also save money on fuel.

Clinton And Ashton In Belgrade: Recognition Of Kosovo Is Not Required

On their arrival from Sarajevo, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, were greeted at the Belgrade airport by Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivan Mrkic, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vincent Degert, and the US Ambassador to Serbia, Michael Kirby.

After talks with Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, and Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, Hillary Clinton has said that continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina does not mean Serbia is required to formally recognize independence of Kosovo.

“We want to see Serbia within the process of European integrations. We are firmly supporting dialogue. I understand constitutional and political obstacles for Serbia, but a dialogue is a call onto two governments to make progress. I understand the difficulties, but the dialogue goes hand in hand with the needs of Serbian people. Borders in Europe will not be changed”, Mrs. Clinton said.

After the meeting with Serbian top officials, Baroness Ashton has said the future of Serbia lies within the EU. She has emphasized Serbia needs to intensify judiciary reforms, as well as dialogue with Kosovo.

“Serbia and Kosovo will be brought closer to the EU. At our joint meeting, Prime Minister Dacic, Mr. Thaci and myself agreed on continuation of the dialogue. It is vital that all agreements are implemented. We have recently witnessed some real progress and it should be continued. The dialogue does not mean a requirement for recognition of independence. It is good for your future, as well as everyday lives of the people”, Baroness Ashton said.

Serbian Prime Minister reiterated that his country was ready to resolve all open issues peacefully.

“Future generations do not deserve any open issues. The United States and the European Union will not force us to do what we cannot do and that is to recognize self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo. But, we are ready for dialogue and improvement of lives of people in Kosovo”, Prime Minister Dacic said.

Dacic Expects No New Conditions For Serbia

On the eve of arrivals of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, to Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister and Home Secretary, Ivica Dacic, has said he sees the visits as yet another step towards European integrations of his country.

Talking to the press, Prime Minister Dacic said he was expecting neither a difficult meeting nor any new conditions for further accession to the EU.

“On the contrary. I think we have developed a different mode of conversing with our partners from the West. We have been jointly looking for ways to resolve all issues peacefully and to mutual satisfaction”, Serbian Prime Minister said.

Madame Secretary Clinton and Baroness Ashton will arrive in Belgrade on Tuesday, October 30. They will spend the afternoon talking to Prime Minister Dacic and Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic.