Prime Minister Rõivas supports Serbian accession to the EU

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, left, meets with his counterpart from Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, second from right, on Tuesday in Belgrade. (Courtesy of Stenbock House)
12/17/2014 12:07 PM
Category: Politics

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas who is currently in Belgrade, Serbia, for a summit focusing on economic cooperation between China and central and eastern European states, said in a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić that Estonia supports Serbia’s efforts to join the European Union, and is willing to help in its accession.

"Estonia supports the continuation of the enlargement of the European Union, because it is in favor of stability and security throughout Europe," Rõivas said. "Estonia supports Serbia's accession to the European Union, and are willing to share their experiences related to the implementation of reforms. We feel that it is our duty."

Roivas said that Estonia is ready to render all possible assistance to Serbia, showcasing its expertise in the field of national preparations for membership, having gone through the process in the last decade, as well as help contruct an e-government system similiar to Estonia. The Prime Minister also mentioned that there were expectations that Serbia as a candidate country would gradually support the EU's common foreign and security policies.

Vučić, who became prime minister in April, thanked Estonia for its support and confirmed accession to the EU is Serbia’s strategic goal. Vučići said Estonia is a successful model for the reform of the country to Serbia, and he was particularly interested in adopting the country’s e-government strategy.

However, former Estonian foreign minister and now MEP Urmas Paet wrote in his blog on Monday that considering Serbia's military exercises with Russian troops last week, it is not an appropriate behavior for the potential EU member state.

Rõivas and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will hold a bilateral meeting during the conference. Li Keqiang stated before the summit that progress towards getting Estonian goods, including local dairy products, in the Chinese market is expected.

S. Abel, S. Tambur

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