French President Emanuel Macron set to visit Serbia on July 15 and 16, according to Belgrade-based Vecernje Novosti, wants to show that Paris is “still an important player on the world’s political and security scene”.
Meanwhile, Blic daily adds that President Macron “brings five messages to the Serbian authorities – can Serbia join the European Union before 2028; does it have a plan to “pressure Pristina” to revoke 100 percent tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; how to improve the economic cooperation and how to boost the two countries’ cooperation it the areas of security and culture.
Blic also recalled that French President Macron has made several times “pessimistic statements” about the Western Balkans joining the EU, and he recently said that there should be no enlargement before the bloc settles its internal problems.
The daily also said during Macron’s visit 20 agreements on bilateral cooperation, mostly regarding the economy, will be signed. The talks are expected to tackle security, coupled with measures on fighting illegal small calibers and light weapons armament. On the side of the culture, the focus will be on the promotion of Francophonie and a joint declaration about youth is expected to be signed.
On its side Politika daily says the relations between Belgrade and Pristina will surely be on the agenda of the President Macron meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic. It also writes Macron’s visit “would be one of the most important foreign policy event“ Vucic would have this year, adding that the last visit by French President was in December 2001, when Jacques René Chirac visited Serbia.
Serbian media further reported that the security measures will be at the highest level with 100 French law enforcement officers joining 4-5,000 Serbian police and armed forces members.
Macron was due to visit Belgrade in December 2018, but had to postpone the visit because of the internal problems in France.