With the aim of speeding up Belgrade’s European integration process, Minister Franco Frattini is attending a trilateral meeting there with the Foreign Ministers of Serbia and Romania. At the EU-USA summit in Prague in April 2009, Minister Frattini introduced an 8-point plan to accelerate the western Balkans Euro-Atlantic integration process.
In addition to the priority message on Europe, the focus of the trilateral is economic cooperation, which offers real prospects for growth thanks to Italian companies’ well-established presence in Romania and the strong new impetus in Italian investments in Serbia. The area offers ample margins for growth, most notably for investments in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
As regards European integration, Serbia has, through its actions, demonstrated its affinity with Europe. Indeed, Italy deems that Belgrade might legitimately aspire to achieve candidate status by the end of this year, with stronger prospects of abolishing the current visa regime also taking shape.
From Italy’s standpoint Serbia is a central country in definitively stabilising the Western Balkans. It is therefore in the European Union’s interest to continue to encourage Belgrade to follow a moderate, constructive regional policy: closer relations with Zagreb and the moderation shown by Belgrade on Banja Luka are important signals in this respect