Extracts of the press briefing by Olli Rehn, Boris Tadić, President of Serbia, and Bozidar Djelic, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister
End production: 07/11/2007 First transmission: 07/11/2007
Serbia has made significant progress in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations. In June 2007, Serbia met the conditions and resumed SAA negotiations, which had been previously suspended in May 2006. Technically, the negotiations have been finalised. However, the conclusion of the Agreement continues to depend on full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which should lead to the arrest and transfer of all remaining fugitives to The Hague. The SAA negotiations have shown that Serbia has the administrative capacity to progress towards the EU. Serbia is well placed to implement a future SAA. Good progress was achieved in areas such as free movement of goods, customs and taxation, industry and SME's, agriculture and visa facilitation. However progress has been limited in areas like information society and media, financial control and money laundering.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement, Boris Tadić, President of Serbia, and Bozidar Djelic, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, in the press room
||Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH) saying that they have had a very important ceremony by initialising the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and the Republic of Serbia, which is the first stepping stone towards the path of European integration and the gateway towards candidate status in the EU;
he is very glad that this event took place in the Berlaymont, and especially in the room devoted to Jean Monnet who so often underlined the importance of solidarity of the facts on the ground so that European integration proceeds through voluntary economic and political integration as soon as it is a step towards uniting people; and this agreement is precisely about creating concrete benefits for Serbian people
||Boris Tadić (in ENGLISH) saying that he is very satisfied because of initialing this agreement with the EU and he is going to be very happy after signing this agreement, and I hope it is going to be in the following few weeks;
Serbia is working very hard on different tracks; first of all they are negotiating with the European Union about their future status in this community of European nations; second, they are doing everything that is in their power to finalise their cooperation with the ICTY that means capturing and sending in The Hague Tribunal all indictees; third, they are negotiating with Pristina, with the representatives of Kosovo and Albania, the future status of Kosovo; four, they are creating the reforms, crutial reforms and one of the most important in their history
||Bozidar Djelic (in ENGLISH) saying that it might be cloudy but this is a shiny beautiful European-Serbian day;
this agreement is the first concrete proof for the Serbian citizens; and judging by the reactions of the previous day's announcements and up to that day, the Serbian citizens are precisely looking for this, a concrete European future in their enormous majority; this agreement is historic in the sense that it represents for the first time a contract between the EU, its Member States and Serbia; there are many more steps in front of them, but sometimes the first ones are the most difficult and crutial ones, and he is very happy that by initialing this agreement they have taken these first steps
||Bozidar Djelic (in ENGLISH) saying that he, on behalf of the government of Serbia, has informed Olli Rehn that as they were speaking the Serbian Parliament has ratified the agreement on Visa facilitation and readmissions, complementary side of their path to the EU, to ensure that the Serbian citizens can more and more travel without impediments in the European continent; at the same time, they have also in the Parliament adopted changes in the law which will make the work of the war crime prosecutor easier to help him locating and extradating the remaining war indictees; Serbia is serious about its European future and they know that with privilegies they also have obligations
||Olli Rehn, Boris Tadić and Bozidar Djelic leaving the press room