15 March 2023 The participants of the meeting

15 March 2023 The participants of the meeting

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

PFG with France Meets with Members of French National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee

The Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with France MA Jadranka Jovanovic and the PFG members met today in the National Assembly House with Frédéric Petit and Marine Hamelet, members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of France, currently in official visit to the Republic of Serbia.

PFG Head MA Jadranka Jovanovic greeted the guests, pointing to the traditionally close and friendly relations that record constant progress. She expressed her interest in an even more comprehensive and broad cooperation with France in all areas and strengthening of overall bilateral relations.

Speaking about parliamentary diplomacy, she recalled the several mutual visits in the past, adding that the Parliamentary Friendship Group with France consists of 86 members from different political parties. Jovanovic expressed her satisfaction that this year she was once again given the honour of hosting the celebration of Francophonie Month in the National Assembly House.

She said that Serbia is a key factor of stability in the region and it clearly shows its European orientation. She added that EU membership is Serbia’s strategic goal and that that Serbia expects support from France to that end.

"We believe that the Open Balkans initiative is an example of successful regional cooperation and struggle for common goals, and as such is the best way to prepare our countries for EU membership," concluded Jovanovic.

The Head of the PFG with France stressed that she highly values the mutual cooperation of the standing delegations in international parliamentary organisations and thanked the French delegation for its support of the activities of the National Assembly delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie. She pointed out the importance of parliamentary visits and recalled the visit of the President of the Senate of the Republic of France Gérard Larcher to the Serbian Parliament in 2022.

MA Jadranka Jovanovic particularly emphasised that the presidents of the two countries, Aleksandar Vucic and Emmanuel Macron, have close and friendly relations, as evidenced by the mutual visits at the highest level.

Speaking of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija, she pointed out that Belgrade remains fully committed to the dialogue with Pristina, because it is the only way to resolve the open issues and reach a mutually acceptable agreement, adding that Belgrade insists on preserving peace, full stability and security for Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija.

She the spoke of the developed economic cooperation, which is good but has the potential for further improvement, as well as of the cooperation in the field of defence.

She added that France is eighth on the list of the biggest investors in Serbian economy listing some of the largest projects, such as the Nikola Tesla airport, Belgrade subway and the construction of a waste processing plant in Vinca.

Jovanovic assessed that cooperation in the field of culture is very important, highlighting cooperation in the field of cinematography, comics, video games, street and visual art. She indicated the possibility of intensifying inter-institutional cooperation, such as the representation of Serbia in the Louvre and cooperation of Belgrade National Museum with French counterparts.

The members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of France, Frédéric Petit and Marine Hamelet thanked the members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with France for the welcome and hospitality.

They pointed to the very good cooperation at the presidential and parliamentary level. Frédéric Petit spoke of the possibility of passing the cooperation between the members of parliamentary friendship groups onto the local communities. He informed the Serbian parliamentarians that he was a member of the French delegation during President Macron's visit to Serbia in 2019.

The meeting was also attended by PFG members Jovan Palalic, Dubravka Filipovski, Danijela Vujicic and Djordje Kosanic, who jointly assessed that the relations between the two countries are good and friendly and that they are on a constant rise as evidenced by the mutual visits of high officials and parliamentary delegations.

They informed the members of the French Parliament about the situation in Kosovo-Metohija, emphasised the importance of implementing the Brussels Agreement and its most important provision, the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities.

They also underlined that our country’s chief foreign policy goal is full membership in the European Union.

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