Hungarian PM urges Serbia to work harder towards EU membership

12:02, June 15, 2011      

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Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic (R) shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban prior to their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, on June 14, 2011. (Xinhua/Marko Rupena)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orba, whose country holds the current EU presidency, said Tuesday that Serbia faces a difficult path toward achieving a membership to the regional bloc.

Orba, who made the comment during a state visit to Belgrade, urged Serbian politicians to work more resolutely toward Serbia's membership.

"Between Hungary and Greece, there are enclaves where EU has to do something," said Orban at a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic here. "If I understand your decision not to belong to this enclave - but that you wish to belong to the EU - we are in solidarity with you."

Orban said the path to EU membership would be challenging for Serbia and the process would not prove to be straightforward, especially in the current European political climate where there are not "favorable winds for expansion."

"Your nation will have to make very big decisions to achieve that goal," said Orban.

Cvetkovic confirmed his government's commitment to the reform process with the goal of achieving EU candidate status before upcoming general elections in 2011.

"I would like to - by the end of the year - get candidate status and a date for the beginning of negotiations, with the aim of completing all necessary reforms," said Cvetkovic.

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