30 January 2014 Participants of the meeting

30 January 2014 Participants of the meeting

Thursday, 30 January 2014

National Assembly Hosts Serbian-German Civil Dialogue

A two-day bilateral meeting Serbian-German Civil Dialogue, organised by the European Movement in Serbia, was opened at the National Assembly today.


Addressing the participants, National Assembly Speaker Dr Nebojsa Stefanovic said how pleased he was that the National Assembly was hosting the first Serbian-German Civil Dialogue immediately after the beginning of Serbia’s talks with the European Union. He believes that the meeting is proof of the excellent cooperation and friendly relations between the two countries which, he is sure, will only improve in the future. Stefanovic emphasised the importance of civil society organisations which, he stressed, allow the citizens to take active part in the work of the institutions and offer expert assistance to the state in crucial political processes. He added that the state is not all-knowing and it needs the help of organisations of this kind to build a modern democratic society. “We are doing our best to foster good partnerships with national civil society organisations and similar international organisations because this is conducive to the establishment of relations at the institutional level”, said Stefanovic. The National Assembly Speaker said he was pleased that the Serbian Parliament had launched a scholarship programme for German students who would have the opportunity to see how the Serbian Parliament functions, learn about Serbian institutions and see Serbia in a new light.

Speaking of the Parliament’s work, Speaker Stefanovic said that the National Assembly and the Government of the Republic of Serbia have completed a huge task and launched reforms which would make Serbia a modern and regulated state, with the fight against corruption and organised crime, which was commended by all the European Union member states and many other countries in the world, as the pivotal feature of the process. He added that the Strategy to combat corruption and organised crime passed by the National Assembly for the period 2013 – 2018 provides a detailed definition of said combat.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, German Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Heinz Wilhelm underlined the very close relations between Germany and Serbia. He stressed that Germany is Serbia’s biggest trade partner and the biggest donor of development aid to Serbia. As regards the political aspect, the Ambassador stressed that Germany considered Serbia the key country in the Balkans, adding he believed that the Serbian Government considered Germany the key country in the EU. He stressed that the very constellation imposes close cooperation not limited to the cooperation between the two Governments, but spreading to a great many activities at the level of civil society. In that context, the German Ambassador mentioned the exchange programme for scholarship students and thanked National Assembly Speaker Dr Nebojsa Stefanovic saying that he was the one responsible for the German students’ being given the chance to visit the National Assembly and learn how the Serbian Parliament functions, while Serbian students attending the same programme would be interns at the Bundestag.

Besides the National Assembly Speaker and the German Ambassador, the participants were also addressed by the President of the European Movement in Serbia Vlastimir Matejic and Ursula Mannle, member of the European Movement Germany Executive Committee.



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