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Minister Creighton welcomes reforms in Serbia and calls for further progress

Security, Press Releases, Europe, 2012

BELGRADE, 25 September 2012 – Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton T.D.,  during an official visit to Serbia today, stressed the need to move forward with implementing reforms, continuing reconciliation efforts and dialogue, as well as delivering on commitments. The Minister was optimistic that Serbia would continue on the path towards EU accession. 

During her visit, Minister Creighton met the Prime Minister, Ivica Dačić; Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, Suzana Grubjesic; Minister for Culture and Information, Bratislav Petkovic; State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vera Mavric; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Home Trade, Telecommunications and Information Technology; Rasim Ljajic; and the Speaker of the Parliament, Nebjosa Stefanovic.

She was the first Irish Minister to meet the new Serbian government. Minister Creighton was in Belgrade as a representative of the OSCE Chair in Office and in the context of Ireland's upcoming Presidency of the European Council in January 2013. 

“With the new government in place there should be no delay in moving forward with reforms, especially in the fields of anti-corruption, judiciary, and media freedom,” Creighton said, adding that the OSCE stood ready to continue assisting the authorities in this.

Minister Creighton welcomed the Serbian Government’s declared commitment to continuing the implementation of reforms, and said that this, together with continued reconciliation efforts is an “essential element for improved regional co-operation and achieving progress on the country’s European path”.

“I am looking forward to an agreement on resumption of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.” She added that this, as well as a dialogue at the community level, would provide a “unique opportunity to address and resolve difficulties in a collaborative and pragmatic spirit. It is also essential that all agreements reached to date in the framework of the dialogue be fully implemented."

She congratulated Serbia on its forthcoming chairmanship of the OSCE in 2015. “This is a significant achievement for the country and the region and offers an opportunity to re-affirm the OSCE’s founding principles.”

The visit to Belgrade opens Minister Creighton’s four-day trip to South-Eastern Europe which will be continued in Pristina, Skopje, Ljubljana and Tirana.