National Assembly Deputy Speaker Veroljub Arsic and the Head of PFG with Germany Vesna Markovic spoke at the gathering on “Parliamentary Elections in Germany: Participants and Predictions” organized at the National Assembly House by the German Konrad Adenauer, Heinrich Böll and Hans Zeidler foundations and the Belgrade University Faculty of Political Sciences.
The objective was to explain the German parliamentary election process to interested experts and the public. The talk revolved around the campaign for the federal parliamentary elections in Germany, its chief bearers, result predictions and coalition.
Deputy Speaker Arsic welcomed the participants on the behalf of the National Assembly Speaker and himself, stressing that the relations between Germany and Serbia are now significantly more developed than they were before. 4 billion EUR worth of German investments are especially important for Serbia, as is the fact that German companies had created 35 thousand new jobs which will improve the lives of Serbian citizens, said Arsic.
He also said that the numerous high level bilateral meetings had contributed to the development of parliamentary and overall cooperation adding that the coming federal elections in Germany are very important because Germany is a significant economic and political partner to both the EU member states and all the countries of the Western Balkans.
German Ambassador to Belgrade H.E. Axel Dittmann emphasized the importance of the debate at the National Assembly House highlighting Germany’s support for Serbia’s European path. He agreed with Deputy Speaker Arsic that in addition to extensive economic cooperation, Serbia and Germany also enjoy excellent cultural cooperation. Dittmann said he was sure the future German Government would continue to support Serbia’s EU accession as a fair and reliable partner.
The Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Serbia Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes said that the results of the elections are still uncertain two weeks before the vote since a great many voters remain indecisive. He stressed that the continuity of the German foreign and European policy has remained steady no matter who won the elections and hopes that the new Bundestag would continue to support Serbia’s European integration.
Prof. Dr Dragan Simic, Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences, and Prof. Dr Ljiljana Glisovic, Head of the Centre for German Studies, highlighted the importance of the debate aimed at informing the public about the electoral system in Germany and thanked the German foundations in Serbia for their support in launching new study programs and centres focusing on German history and political system.
The Head of PFG with Germany Vesna Markovic spoke about Germany and its federal and parliamentary values and their political and economic significance for Serbia, stressing that the cooperation between Serbia and Germany in the last 5 years has been excellent as evidenced by the MPs’ growing interest to join the PFG with Germany which at present boasts 86 members. Markovic stressed that Germany as the key and economically strongest EU country is a very important partner for Serbia, as demonstrated by its support of Serbia’s European integration and 1.6 billion EUR of investments and donations. She said that she was sure the party headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel would win another term in office and that the intensive cooperation between Serbia and Germany would continue after 24 September.
Prof. Dr Slavisa Orlovic, Despot Kovacevic and Stefan Surlic spoke about the German political institutions, election procedures, political agents and presentation of political parties, while Andrej Ivanji, Milan Krstic and Lazar Glisovic spoke about the political, national, Euro-regional and global context of the federal elections in Germany.
Following a discussion Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes of KAS said that the policy of cooperation with Serbia and the other Western Balkan countries would maintain its continuity and that all the candidates are of the same opinion. He added that he was sure the cooperation between the German foundations in Serbia, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the Faculty of Political Sciences would continue after the new Federal Government is set up in October.