There will be no change in German policy towards the Western Balkans

Germany will continue to support the policy of enlargement and integration of the Western Balkans and Serbia into the European Union, regardless of who heads the new government, representatives of German institutions in Serbia said yesterday.

The roundtable on “Will the results of the German elections affect the change of policy towards the Western Balkans”, organized by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, stressed that economic cooperation between Berlin and Belgrade will not change in the near future. , but this can be expected more inclusion in the Green Agenda.

The representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Serbia, Max Brändle, expressed confidence that Germany, as one of the strongest EU countries, will continue to be an actor in the process of accession of the Western Balkans to the Union and that it will contribute to enlargement. .

“This is especially true for Serbia. “Despite the relationship of trust between Angela Merkel and Aleksandar Vučić, it is in Germany ‘s interest to be supported and surrounded by friends in EU member states,” said Max Brändle.

He is convinced that Germany will continue to support the EU accession process for the Western Balkans and Serbia if Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate Olaf Scholz is elected chancellor, but that “there will be no reduction” when it comes to the criteria for full membership…

“Germany has an interest in Serbia making progress on this path through the opening of funds, but it is clear that criteria such as democracy and the rule of law will be met,” Brändle said.

Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes, director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for Serbia and Montenegro at the CDU, is convinced that if CDU leader Armin Laschet is elected chancellor, we should not expect significant changes in German policy towards the Balkans. Western.

He believes this is largely true even if the Social Democratic Party is elected chancellor.

“I am convinced that no radical change will happen along the way, which is very important,” Beckman-Dierkes said.

He believes that Serbia and Southeast Europe will play an important role in the next German government, especially in terms of European economic and security policy.

The director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Belgrade office, Simon Ilse, close to the Greens, expects the party to join the new government unless the main parties decide on a grand coalition.

“But I do not think anyone in Germany wants that. It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks how a new government will be formed,” Ilse said.

According to him, if a so-called “beacon coalition” is formed in Germany, the principles of German policy on EU enlargement will remain the same, but the tone will change.

“German engagement should be expected to be more concerned with democratization and rule of law issues in the countries of the region, as well as with the Green Agenda,” Bell said.

The director of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce Frank Aletter said that the Berlin Process initiative, launched by the German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been very successful and this is shown by the fact that 400 German companies operating in Serbia employ 75,000 people .

He stressed that the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce will work to continue successful economic co-operation between the two countries.

“Certainly, there will be a shift in some focus and an increase in participation in various fields, especially in environmental protection and the joint provision of skilled work in Serbia and Germany,” Aletter said.ibna

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