The President of the Council Giorgia Meloni will be today at Belgrade for a meeting with the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic. From what we understand, the meeting, which will take place from 13pm to around 15pm at the Serbia Palace, aims to consolidate the excellent bilateral partnership, which is experiencing a new expansion phase thanks to the strong impetus of the first Italian-Serbian Business and Science Forum , which took place in Belgrade on 15-21 March.
Within the framework of the Forum, the creation of a joint Italy-Serbia Economic Committee was agreed, aimed at promoting investments and economic cooperation, the first meeting of which should be held in 2024. According to what we learn, one of the themes of the meeting will be economic cooperation, which represents the pillar of the Italian-Serbian strategic partnership. In the first six months of 2023, commercial trade recorded a value of 1.902 million euros. In the same period, Italy was Serbia's third supplier country and the third destination market for Serbian products. Around 1.200 Italian companies operate in the Balkan country.
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Simest and Sace have strengthened their presence in the country with the opening of offices in Belgrade and the launch of important financial instruments to support Italian SMEs. Economic cooperation aims to strengthen in sectors with a high innovative-technological content with the organization of an Italy – Serbia Innovation Forum in Belgrade (5-6 December) to identify areas of cooperation in the digital technologies sector. Two other areas of potential growth are energy and the defense industry.
Obviously, there will also be a comparison on the European themes e partners.. According to what we understand, several EU member states are perplexed by the relationship between Belgrade and Moscow and consider it a risk for the Union. However, the European integration process remains the main path to anchoring Serbia to the Western camp. The Kosovo issue also remains a central element of political life in Serbia. From an Italian and European perspective, it is essential to prevent the recent tensions in northern Kosovo from hindering the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue facilitated by the EU and the agreement for the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, reached in March in Ohrid, North Macedonia. North.
Meloni's visit also serves to support this dialogue. In relation to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Serbia's priority remains that of maintaining a balance between the interests that bind it to Russia (cultural and religious affinities, energy, support for Kosovo) and the Western camp (the EU remains by far the first investor in the country).