Serbia, France ink strategic partnership deal
Saturday, 09 April 2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Serbian President Boris Tadic on Friday that Paris will be the best advocate for Serbia's EU membership candidacy, the French president's office said in a release after the meeting of the two heads of state.

France fully supports Serbia's European perspective and Serbia does not have a better advocate in Europe for promoting its integration, Sarkozy told President Tadic during their meeting in Paris, reads the release quoted by AFP.

Sarkozy stressed it is important that Serbia continue reforms in order to improve the rule of law and do everything in its power to arrest the two remaining Hague fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.

This is the parameter the EU will take into consideration, reads the release from the Elysee Palace.

A strategic partnership agreement between Serbia and France meant to help Serbia's EU integration.

The strategic partnership agreement between Serbia and France states that the two sides are going to improve their cooperation in order to help prepare Serbia for EU integration, especially when it comes to harmonizing legislation.

The cooperation includes improvements to administration, introduction of European standards and use of EU financial instruments.

The two countries will also intensify their dialogue on foreign affairs and EU security, so Serbia could take part in joint activities and EU operations more easily.

The economic cooperation section says that Serbia and France need to encourage investments, develop a partnership between the public and private sector and provide support for large infrastructure projects regarding energy, new technologies, IT, communications, transport and environment protection.

The document also states that France will be Serbia's partner in constructing the Belgrade underground railway.

The agreement includes cultural, science, technological, energy and university cooperation as well.

The two countries wish to promote defence partnership too, so they could take part in humanitarian missions abroad and provide better training and equipment for their soldiers.

Cooperation against organized crime and various forms of smuggling in the Balkans is part of the agreement as well.

Migration control and efficient readmission are also in the document as part of the visa liberalization between Serbia and the EU.

The agreement was signed by Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and France's Minister for European Affairs Laurent Wauquiez. Serbian President Boris Tadic and his French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy attended the ceremony.


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