U.S. and Serbia Partnership
Vice President Biden’s May 2009 visit to Belgrade established a more positive tone for U.S.-Serbia relations and underscored the United States’ commitment to pursue new avenues of bilateral cooperation and engagement. While acknowledging that we would need to continue to “agree to disagree” on Kosovo, the Vice President made clear the United States’ strong support for the full integration of Serbia and the entire Western Balkans region into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. Serbia is at a crucial juncture in its democratic and economic transition and its European future. Our bilateral partnership seeks to bolster Serbia’s reform process, grow its economy, and to support forward-looking policies that will reinforce Serbia's efforts to advance its European aspirations.
We are working to support Serbia’s European integration by helping our Serbian partners build sustainable democratic institutions, strengthen Serbia’s commitment to the rule of law, advance economic reforms, and position Serbia to foster regional cooperation and reconciliation, and become a contributor to regional and global peace and security. We are encouraging Serbia to complete its commitments to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. We are also working jointly to develop a stronger independent civil society, to improve transparency and rule of law, and to reform domestic institutions, which will promote public confidence and a long-term commitment to democracy. We are helping to deepen Serbia’s defense reforms and contributions to global security, bilaterally with the U.S. and other partners, through more intensive engagement in NATO Partnership for Peace activities and with a stronger commitment to multilateral police and peacekeeping activities.
It is also our priority is to point Serbia toward greater economic reform and European integration so that it can assume a leading role as a regional economic hub and as an engine for economic growth. We continue to encourage Serbia to exercise fiscal discipline and to effectively reform its public sector on both the state and municipal levels to encourage private sector initiatives and development. Additionally, we seek to broaden and deepen commercial ties between the United States and Serbia to foster economic growth and innovation so that Serbia may be seen as an attractive location for U.S. businesses and investment. U.S. companies present in Serbia, including Ball Packaging, U.S. Steel, Microsoft, and Bank of America all speak positively about doing business in Serbia. It is our goal to both help create a better business environment for U.S. companies to conduct business in Serbia and to raise the profile of Serbia in the business community in the United States.
Through our partnership, we will ensure that Serbia hears a clear, unified message of support for its European future, as well as articulation of the remaining steps it must take – in political, economic and regional terms – to advance that process. As our partnership evolves, and Serbia continues to make the reforms that bring it closer to its European future, it’s people will benefit from a stronger, more just, and democratic society.