Chancellor Angela Merkel’s talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić revolved around European refugee policy and the prospects of the Balkan state of EU accession. Serbia is a safe country of origin, said the Chancellor, pointing to its status as an accession candidate to the EU. She agreed with the Serbian Prime Minister, "that in general the fact that Serbians stay in Germany is not ground to apply for asylum".
Important impetus for EU accession
With regard to Serbia’s relations with the EU, the Chancellor declared herself quietly confident. She thanked her visitor "for the significant and substantial progress made in talks with Kosovo". Angela Merkel described the decisions taken by the two states against the background of the accession negotiations due to start soon between Serbia and the European Union as "very courageous" and an "important impetus".
Last week Serbia and Kosovo agreed on the integration of the Serbian minority in northern Kosovo.
Angela Merkel also praised the role of Serbia in the current refugee situation, in which the country "is facing major challenges". Serbia is "very much affected" by the fact that refugees from Greece are coming from the EU, and then re-entering the EU across the Serbian-Hungarian border.
For several months now a large percentage of refugees from the Middle East have been coming from Greece through Macedonia and Serbia to Hungary.