Visit of Tomislav Nikolić, President of Serbia, to the EC
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, received Tomislav Nikolić, President of Serbia. It was his first visit abroad since taking office on 31/05/2012. During the joint press conference, José Manuel Barroso highlighted that it was a clear sign of the priority Tomislav Nikolić and Serbia attached to their European reform agenda.
The EU was Serbia's biggest trading partner and the main provider of foreign direct investment, grants and loans. José Manuel Barroso said that the EC was strongly committed to helping Serbia advance on the road towards the EU. He added that the Commission was looking 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 structural economic reforms.
He concluded by saying that the normalisation of Serbia's relations with Kosovo remained an absolutely central condition for moving to the next stage of the EU process. In other words, this would be crucial to make it possible for the Commission to eventually recommend the opening of accession negotiations of the country to its Member States.