The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic commenced official visit to the Republic of Slovenia with a meeting with the Speaker of the Slovenian National Assembly Dejan Zidan. The two officials opined that the bilateral relations are developing briskly across the board and that the two parliaments greatly contribute to the strengthening of friendly relations.
Gojkovic and Zidan agreed that the Serbian Parliament Speaker’s prompt return visit to Slovenia and the fact that the two speakers of parliament have met five times in less than a year speak volumes about both sides’ commitment to strengthen the relations between the two parliaments and states.
Zidan said that the two countries have traditionally good relations which they should now take steps to intensify further.
Gojkovic stressed that the parliamentary relations are at a historic high, adding that the frequent meetings of the presidents of the two countries and joint government sessions testify to the high level of understanding between the two states.
Gojkovic and Zidan agreed it is now vital to continue developing parliamentary cooperation based on the Memorandum of Understanding the Serbian and Slovenian national assemblies signed in Belgrade in December 2018, opening up room for the cooperation between working bodies and parliamentary friendship groups. Gojkovic added that the parliaments also have the important task to ratify the agreements the two governments sign such as the Agreement regulating the employment of Serbian nationals in Slovenia.
Zidan and Gojkovic spoke about the newest developments in the European Union and challenges facing it. Zidan believes the European Union needs to spread to the Western Balkans as this will add to the stabilization of the entire region. He stressed that Slovenia is Serbia’s friend and will continue to support its European integration and make the path to it swift and easy. He said that it is Slovenia’s experience that the road to the EU is not always easy, but Slovenia, which is a true friend to Serbia, was committed and persistent, so he believes Serbia too can make it.
Gojkovic thanked Slovenia for endorsing the enlargement policy and supporting Serbia’s efforts. She agreed with Zidan that enlargement is one of the most important policies because it means peace and stability on the entire European continent.
Gojkovic and Zidan also talked about furthering economic cooperation, and Gojkovic pointed out that Slovenia is one of Serbia’s most important trade partners and investors with Slovenian companies employing a great many Serbian citizens, adding that she is all in favour of boosting Serbian investments into Slovenia. Zidan said that the14% increase in the volume of trade is truly significant.
Gojkovic and Zidan also spoke about the position of the Serbian community in Slovenia and praised the recent establishment of the Alliance of Serbs of Slovenia, and Zidan said he expected the Slovenian Government Council for cooperation with representatives of the national communities of former Yugoslavia to soon have a meeting. Gojkovic and Zidan opined that the Serbian community in Slovenia and the Slovenian national minority in Serbia are a vital bridge of cooperation between the two countries.
Gojkovic and Zidan then spoke about advancing the cooperation between the two parliaments’ standing delegations to international parliamentary organizations and Gojkovic invited the Slovenian National Assembly Speaker to come to the 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade, on 13-17 October, which Zidan was happy to accept.
The Serbian parliamentary delegation also comprises the head of the PFG with Slovenia Milija Miletic and PFG member Snezana Bogosavljevic Boskovic.