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01/11/14

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Meeting with Mr Tomislav Nikolić, President of Serbia

President Barroso and President Tomislav Nikolić © EU

President Barroso reiterated the strong commitment of the European Commission to support Serbia's European path.

After the meeting, President Barroso said that President Nikolić's decision to come to Brussels as his first official visit abroad since taking office was a clear sign of the priority President Nikolić and Serbia attached to their European reform agenda. "The European Union and Serbia already enjoy strong ties. Indeed, we are, by far, Serbia's biggest trading partner and the main provider of foreign direct investment, grants and loans. But we want to go further. The Commission is strongly committed to helping Serbia advance on the road towards the European Union," continued the President, adding that the Commission "looks forward to working closely with Serbia on key areas such as judicial reform, anti-corruption policy, the fight against organised crime, media freedom, the protection of minorities, and not least structural economic reforms."

President Barroso concluded by saying that "the normalisation of Serbia's relations with Kosovo remains an absolutely central condition for moving to the next stage of the EU process. In other words, this will be crucial to make it possible for the Commission to eventually recommend the opening of accession negotiations to our Member States."

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