The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic met today with the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Radek Vondracek, in official two-day visit to the Republic of Serbia at the invitation of the Serbian Parliament Speaker.
Gojkovic and Vondracek said that the bilateral; relations are exceptionally good and that the two countries share a century of friendship and cooperation, the foundation of today’s intensive dialogue at all levels. Czech President Milos Zeman’s recent visit to Serbia and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s coming participation in the meeting of the Visegrad Group reaffirm the two countries’ determination to strengthen relations.
Gojkovic and Vondracek said they were ready to strengthen parliamentary ties, opining that the Serbian Assembly Speaker’s visit to the Czech Republic, swiftly followed by a return visit testifies to the two parliaments’ determination to intensify cooperation.
Gojkovic and Vondracek agreed that there is ample room for cooperation between the working bodies in charge of foreign and European affairs, agriculture, economy, environmental protection and culture, as well as between parliamentary friendship groups.
Gojkovic emphasised the importance of deepening cooperation between the standing delegations to international parliamentary organization, especially the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The coming 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade, 13 – 17 October, which will hopefully be attended by a Czech delegation, will be an excellent opportunity to boost parliamentary cooperation and dialogue, especially since it is the international parliamentary organization’s 130th anniversary.
Gojkovic and Vondracek discussed the possibilities for Serbia to take part in the Visegrad Group meetings at the parliamentary level, with Vondracek saying that the Czech Republic considers Serbia a natural partner.
Gojkovic thanked Vondracek for the Czech Republic and Visegrad Group’s active, honest and continuous support of Serbia’s European integration, and the two heads of parliament agreed that it is important to continue with the enlargement policy despite the challenges facing the EU. Gojkovic stressed that Serbia is determined to continue with the reforms in the context of the European integration process and to raise the overall standards of the institutions and the society.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that the Czech Republic’s support for Serbia’s European integration is not merely declarative, it is reflected in the realization of a number of pre-accession projects. Vondracek said that EU enlargement is one of the most important topics on the Visegrad Group’s plate, adding that Serbia belongs in Europe and its accession is important both for the country and the Union.
Gojkovic briefed Vondracek on the situation in Kosovo-Metohija, highlighting Serbia’s constructive approach and dedication to dialogue, as well as the series of unilateral moves by Pristina which led to a blockade of the dialogue. In that context, she asked the Czech Republic for support for the dialogue.
Gojkovic and Vondracek agreed about the importance of economic cooperation and praised the increase in the volume of trade which exceeded a billion euros last year and the increase in Czech investments into Serbia.
In the course of the visit, Vondracek addressed the members of the National Assembly at a special session and, with the National Assembly Speaker, visited the photo-exhibit on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the Central Hall of the National Assembly House.