Meeting of President Charles Michel with President Aleksandar Vučić

© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources

The President of the European Council met with President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić on 26 June 2020.

President Michel underlined the EU’s unequivocal support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans as reaffirmed by the 6 May Zagreb Summit, its commitment to enlargement and support for Serbia’s future merit-based EU membership.

The leaders discussed EU-Serbia relations. President Michel noted that the pace of Serbia’s accession negotiations continues to depend on progress in the areas of rule of law and fundamental rights, as well as in the normalisation of Belgrade’s relations with Pristina. President Michel congratulated President Vučić on his party’s victory in last Sunday’s elections.

Charles Michel: “The electoral victory also comes with a responsibility to undertake the necessary reforms and take Serbia forward on the EU accession path.”

The leaders discussed the Covid-19 pandemic. President Michel thanked Serbia for its solidarity and highlighted the European Union’s support to Serbia in dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, with close to €100 million in assistance for immediate support to the health sector and social and economic recovery needs.

Charles Michel: “I am confident that Serbian citizens are reassured and proactively informed that support from the European Union is unwavering, and will continue in good times and in crisis times, such as those we have all just experienced due to Covid-19.”

President Michel also stressed the urgent need for progress in the EU-facilitated Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. The recent appointment of ambassador Miroslav Lajčák as the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue evidences the EU’s support to the dialogue process, scheduled to resume in July in Brussels. The dialogue – which should lead to a comprehensive legally binding agreement that addresses all outstanding issues in accordance with international law and EU acquis and contribute to regional stability – is crucial so that Belgrade and Pristina can advance on their respective European paths.