On Thursday, October 7, 2010 the Washington Office of the German Marshall Fund hosted a lunch with Bozidar Djelic, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration and Minister of Science and Technological Development for the Republic of Serbia, to discuss the prospects for Serbia’s future. GMF Senior Program Officer Dakota Korth moderated the event. Minister Djelic began by giving an overview of the current situation in Serbia and the Balkan region. He addressed Serbia’s relationship with Bosnia and Herzegovina, referencing Serbia’s participation in the Dayton Accords and reiterating his government’s support for maintaining Bosnian territorial integrity. He also spoke to Serbia’s hope for a compromise between Greece and Macedonia, and his government’s closer cooperation with Croatia.
On the economy, Djelic addressed his role as science minister by noting that the difference in development in the region will be between the countries that can hold onto their talented people and those who cannot. Accordingly, he is working to entice Serbian leaders in scientific fields to return to the country. Minister Djelic concluded his remarks with comments on EU integration. One of the main conditions for EU integration is the resolution of the status of Kosovo, for which Serbia wants U.S. and EU assistance. Serbia is not asking for shortcuts in the process, he said, but reasonable benchmarks which can expedite the integration process.