Ana Brnabić has been Serbia’s head of government since June 2017. She is the first woman to hold this office. On Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the Prime Minister with military honours at the Federal Chancellery.
Germany important trading partner
"At bilateral level, our cooperation has been a success story," said the Chancellor. A total of 400 German companies operate in Serbia, providing jobs for 60,000 people. This makes Germany an important factor in Serbia’s trading relations.
Serbia "exemplary" in the field of digitalisation
Angela Merkel stressed, in particular, that Prime Minister Ana Brnabić sees priorities not only in economic policy and reducing unemployment. Serbia is also leading the way forward in the field of digitalisation and services. In view of the still high rate of youth unemployment in Serbia, this is a "genuine investment in the future".
"I think that Serbia can be proud of what it is doing in the field of digitalisation, including digital schooling. It is exemplary for many European countries," said the Chancellor.
Berlin Process generating benefits
Angela Merkel expressed her delight that the Berlin Process she initiated is generating benefits and has led to many cooperation arrangements. The process provides opportunities to resolve bilateral conflicts, such as the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo. "I believe that we must proceed step by step here," continued the Chancellor.
Chancellor Angela Merkel launched what is known as the "Berlin Process" in 2014, which was the start of the Western Balkans Summits. The aim is to foster peace, security and stability in the Western Balkan states and to support development in the region.
EU accession – preconditions must be met
Commenting on Serbia’s goal of acceding to the European Union, the Chancellor stressed that there are no time limits involved. What is important is that accession candidates meet the preconditions. "Once Serbia has met these conditions, the time will have come to speak about accession."