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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Work on regional connectivity continues - PM

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic spoke on Thursday in Belgrade at the opening of the Second Digital Summit of the Western Balkans.

April 4, 2019

Brnabic said that her government has set digitization and education as their absolute priorities in order to take advantage of all the chances that are being offered to us today.

"The digital summit is important for several reasons: political, social and economic. Today, we send a message to the world to the world that, despite all the challenges and misunderstandings, we continue to work on regional networking, regional cooperation, implementation of previously agreed agreements and commitments, and opening new perspectives," Brnabic said, according to her remarks published by the government.

"The political moment is certainly not the best for a regional summit, and even less for the signing of new regional agreements. But the future of the region, the future of young people living in this region depends on the fact that in such difficult and complex situations, we bring primarily a political decision that we will continue to build the stability of the region, and not further collapse," she said.

"That we will do our best to show our partners abroad that we are a stable and predictable partner, and to our citizens, that we are serious and responsible. To young people, that this region has a different, better perspective. To give them a signal that we are more responsible and that they should stay here and not look for our future somewhere else," the prime minister said, adding that one of the things that will mark this Summit is the signing the Regional Roaming Agreement.

"This was a difficult decision for us at a time when Pristina is imposing, for over four months now, 100 percent taxes on products from central Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which are measures that do not correspond to the time in which we live and the spirit of cooperation that we are trying to promote, together with our partners, primarily from the EU, and which also represent a direct violation of the CEFTA agreement, which is the basis of all further regional relations and cooperation," Brnabic said.

According to her, egional Roaming Agreement is not just a document that defines how telecom operators will behave in the region, but also, from Serbia's point of view, "shows the map of the road that we need to follow: more cooperation and more agreement, more mutual understanding in the interests of all citizens living in this region."

"Economically, this summit is important to show that our region follows the time and trends we live in. To understand very well, we not only live in a time that dictates and defines digital technologies and digital literacy, but rather that we live in the time of another, 4th Industrial Revolution, in which the entire Western Balkans has the opportunity, if we are smart, to be reasonable and dedicated, we compensate for the missed and change our destiny," Brnabic said, adding that she was pleased that the Digital Summit of the Western Balkans gathered more than 4,000 accredited persons and 200 speakers in three stages this year, "and that this room is too small today for all who wanted to come."

She also thanked "our partners from the EU, and especially the people from the European Commission, above all Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and her team, on the effort, work, support and understanding."

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=04&dd=04&nav_id=106557

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