National Assembly Deputy Speaker Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic and Head of PFG with Germany Vesna Markovic met today with representatives of the Hans-Bockler Foundation (Hans-Böckler Stiftung) to discuss topics of interest for Serbia and regional cooperation and the bilateral relations between Serbia and Germany.
Deputy Speaker Marinkovic said that the relations between Serbia and Germany had been on the rise in the past few years and Serbia is very happy with its political and, what’s more, economic cooperation with Germany.
“We are very happy that German companies doing business in Serbia and employing over 50 thousand of our citizens, as well as by the fact that Germany sees Serbia as a good place to invest in”, said Marinkovic.
He briefed the representatives of the Hans-Bockler Foundation on the economic reforms in Serbia, stressing that the country had last year alone received over three billion euros of direct investments, making her top of the Western Balkan region. Marinkovic also thanked Germany for launching the Berlin Process promoting cooperation between the countries in the region, which is a step toward reconciliation and better economic cooperation.
Saying that EU accession is Serbia’s foreign policy priority, the Head of PFG with Germany Vesna Markovic proceeded to brief the guests on the particulars of the negotiation process. She said that of the 35 negotiation chapters before Serbia, Chapter 35, concerning the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, gives the impression that all the reforms conducted in the country remain in its shadow and that EU membership itself would hinge on it.
Markovic said she was an optimist when the Berlin Process was launched in 2014 as a message of good faith to the countries and people in the region, but five years later it has given very little results and few mechanisms to monitor what was agreed at the yearly summits.
She also spoke about the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the Brussels Agreement, Pristina’s failure to fulfil its obligations and the effect of the 100% tariffs imposed on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina which further harm the people in Kosovo-Metohija who are already living hard.
The meeting with the delegation of 14 representatives of the Hans-Bockler Foundation, headed by Jens Becker, also touched on the relationship between Serbia and Russia, the media situation in the country, demography and birth rates and the volume of investments from EU, Russia and China.