Developing good relations further
Following his meeting with the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, the Federal Chancellor stressed the Federal Government’s commitment to the EU membership prospects of the Western Balkan countries. “It is in the interest of the region and the EU that the six Western Balkan countries should become full EU members in the future,” said Scholz.
Serbia – consistent implementation of the reform process
“Germany provides very practical support for Serbia’s EU accession process in the form of advice and project funding.” The Federal Chancellor continued to say that Serbia in turn had to consistently continue its reform course and had to make progress in particular with regard to the rule of law, media freedom and its fight against corruption and organised crime.
Another key topic of the meeting was the reaction to Russia’s war against Ukraine. “The EU and its accession candidates must stand together in this difficult situation, and must defend their shared values,” the Federal Chancellor stipulated.
Bilateral relations between Serbia and Kosovo
The normalisation of relations with Kosovo was a key topic of the exchange with the Serbian President, as had also been the case in the Federal Chancellor’s previous conversation with Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti. Concerning the bilateral relationship between Serbia and Kosovo, Scholz stressed that “progress is enormously important for a successful exchange, both to sustainably ensure peace and stability in South-East Europe and in view of the two countries’ EU integration”.
The Federal Chancellor called on both states to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue. “This takes courage and determination. All commitments made must be fulfilled. Unilateral actions and polemic rhetoric are not helpful.” He expressed his conviction that “especially in times like these, in which a brutal war is taking place on our very doorstep, it is of vital importance that the two countries gradually resolve their conflict”.
To encourage further progress of this dialogue, the Federal Chancellor had also invited the EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák to Berlin. He met Vučić and Kurti at the Federal Foreign Office’s guest house Villa Borsig in the evening. The goal of the Brussels Dialogue is a comprehensive, sustainable agreement between the two countries that opens up EU membership prospects for both countries and contributes to regional stability.
The Republic of Kosovo is recognised by more than 110 states around the world, including Germany. Serbia is among the countries that have not recognised Kosovo. Kosovo’s convergence with the EU and the NATO is hindered by its unresolved relationship to Serbia. Since 2011, the EU has been facilitating a political dialogue which has allowed for important agreements to be reached. Following an interruption, the dialogue was resumed by the EU Special Representative in July 2020.