Italy’s renewed support for Serbia’s entry into the EU and new agreements in the context of a strategic bilateral relationship. These were the results of the third Italo-Serbian intergovernmental summit held in Ancona, where a large delegation of Ministers participated – including Minister Emma Bonino – along with Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
Serbia to become 29th EU star
Italy’s objective, Letta pointed out at the end of the meeting, is that Serbia becomes the “29th EU star”. In this regard, Italy fought successfully to have the late-June European Council finalise the launch of accession negotiations by January 2014. Support for which Serbian Premier Ivica Dacic expressed his appreciation to the Italian government.
Belgrade-Pristina accord decisive
The European Council will now have to convene an intergovernmental conference for the actual launch of negotiations. Belgrade, for its part, has agreed to implement reforms and apply the accord signed with Pristina on 19 April. In this sense, Italy hopes for the proper conduction of municipal elections in Kosovo on 3 November. In the meantime, Belgrade will be given support for adaptation of European parameters.
Four new bilateral agreements
Within this context, Minister Bonino and her colleague Mrkic signed a joint declaration on a future memorandum of understanding on European integration. Three other agreements were also signed: one on the regulation of the road transport of goods and passengers (also Bonino-Mrkic), one on software for the management of the organised crime data base of the Serbian justice department (Cancellieri-Selakovic), and one on anti-drug services (Alfano-Dacic).
Dassù holds meeting on infrastructure
On the eve of the Italo-Serbian meeting, Ancona was also host to the first European meeting of stakeholders in the framework of the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Regional Strategy. The second pillar of the Strategy aims to connect that macro-region and reduce the distance from insular and rural communities by improving the governance of domestic and maritime corridors, computer networks and internet.