President Aleksandar Vucic says that “cannons have fallen silent” in the region – but that danger still exits.
For that reason, it is important to preserve peace and stability, he said during a meeting in Belgrade on Friday with a delegation of the the youth organization of the European People’s Party (EPP).
“Serbia is on the European path, above all a path of preserving peace and stability in the region,” he said, adding that this was “crucial for economic development of the Western Balkans, in order to try and the young in their own countries.”
“I hope that we will create an economic union, that our trucks will not wait at borders, to allow faster growth for all countries of the Western Balkans,” Vucic said.
He said that the need for cooperation between the former Yugoslav republics is always talked about, but that this cooperation should be extended to Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece.
“We are small and we have the same problems,” Vucic said, adding that it was necessary to work on economic progress, “because the states will not survive without the ability to keep young people.”
He added that EEP members have the greatest responsibility because they are in power in many countries in Europe, and that he believes that European countries will, understanding the dangers that exist, succeed in preventing them and build a stronger Europe that will also include the Western Balkans – “whose the development engine will be Serbia.”
ENP Youth President Andrianos Giannou said during the meeting that they came to Serbia “as family and partners.”
“We are here to comment on the progress. This region needs peace and stability, but also progress. We are pleased with your progress,” Giannou said.
Minister of EU Integration Jadranka Joksimovic said that she would like EEP members to come to Serbia more often because Serbia is the only country in the region where a member of European People’s Party bloc is in power.
She said that the European path of Serbia has its ups and downs, and that it is a process that is sometimes frustrating, “but the authorities share that frustration with European partners and try not to bother the citizens.”
During the conversation, Vucic said he was “ashamed” by not being able to speak Hungarian and Albanian, that are among the minority languages spoken in Serbia.
The president left the meeting after an hour, while Joksimovic continued to talk with the delegation.