The Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with France MA Jadranka Jovanovic and the PFG members met today at the National Assembly House with a delegation of the Senate of the Republic of France headed by Senate President Gérard Larcher.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Head of the PFG expressed her satisfaction with the visit especially since this was the first official visit of the French Senate President to the Serbian Parliament. Jadranka Jovanovic went on to say that the bilateral relations between the two countries are traditionally and historically close and friendly and constantly on the rise. They are characterised by the strengthening and constant improvement of cooperation in all fields, as well as regular political dialogue. The recent visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to France, where he met with President Emmanuel Macron, was of special importance for the bilateral relations, as was the visit of President Macron to Serbia in 2019, when 25 agreements were signed in the fields of culture, education, public administration, energy, sports, security and special-purpose industry.
Jovanovic also expressed her satisfaction with the establishment of the current legislature’s 73 strong Parliamentary Friendship Group with France which makes it one of the most numerous groups in the Serbian Parliament.
Jovanovic welcomed all past and future French investments in the Serbian economy, pointing out that our country provides a favourable economic environment for potential investors. She added that France is the eighth largest investor in the Serbian economy, highlighting some of the largest projects, such as the "Nikola Tesla" Airport, Belgrade Subway and the construction of a waste processing plant in Vinca.
Referring to the constancy of the cooperation in the field of air transport, Jovanovic opined that there is room to improve cooperation in the field of energy and defence. She spoke of the significant cooperation in the field of culture, mentioning the signed Agreement on Cinematographic Co-production and the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Culture and Comic Books between Serbia and France.
Speaking about Serbia’s European integration, which is the country’s chief foreign policy goal, she thanked France for its continuous support on our path to full EU membership. She also spoke about the "Open Balkans" initiative as an example of successful regional cooperation.
Speaking of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Jovanovic stated that Belgrade is fully committed to dialogue because it is the only way to resolve the open issues. She emphasised the importance of implementing the Brussels Agreement and its most important provision, the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities.
The President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher agreed with Ms. Jovanovic that the bilateral cooperation is at a high level. He said that President Macron's visit to Serbia contributed to the deepening of cooperation, adding that it would be of great benefit to transpose this type of cooperation into interparliamentary cooperation. The Senate President went on to say that he fully supports the obligatory implementation and fulfilment of all agreements, the Brussels Agreement included.
The Head of the French Senate’s Friendship Group with the Western Balkans Marta De Sidrac and the Head of the French Friendship Group with Serbia Mikael Valle, who also took part in the meeting, praised the existing excellent cooperation, adding that there is room for further improvement. The idea was put forward to develop cooperation at the level of the two countries’ local communities.
The members of the PFG with France Dr Aleksandra Tomic, Snezana Paunovic, Prim. Doc. Dr Darko Laketic and Ana Miljanic jointly assessed that this visit of the French parliamentary delegation will give a significant impetus to interparliamentary cooperation, concluding that there is room to intensify cooperation through an exchange of visits of the two countries’ parliamentarians and officials.