PARIS – Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Paris Monday that Serbia had been given the green light for negotiation chapters 23 and 24 in its EU accession talks and that they would be opened on July 19.

Serbia now looks to the future with more optimism, but much is still to be done, Vucic told reporters after the Paris-Balkans 2016 summit of Western Balkan and EU leaders, expressing confidence that the country would have EU support.

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Serbia and asked everyone to back Serbia on its European path, rather than obstruct it,” Vucic said, describing the Paris meeting as a good one.

Preserving peace and stability without worrying about economic growth is the most important thing for Serbia, he said.

Vucic also announced that the Western Balkan leaders had signed an agreement on establishing a Regional Youth Cooperation Office at Serbia’s initiative.

The Office will be headquartered in Tirana, Albania, with most of the funding to be provided by Serbia, Vucic said.