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European Union and Serbia sign the agreement on Serbia's participation in EU security and defence missions

The Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, Ambassador Vincent DEGERT and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Vuk JEREMIĆ signed today in Belgrade  a Framework Agreement for the  participation of Serbia in EU crisis management operations.

This Framework Agreement is one of the most important agreements Serbia will sign with the EU in the process of European integration in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The Agreement will set down a legal framework governing possible future Serbian participation in  EU-led military and civilian security operations. The agreement will represent a significant step forward for Serbia the area of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) allowing for a more structured cooperation with the EU on ongoing and future efforts in different countries and theatres of operation across the world.

The agreement comes in response to Serbia's strong desire to contribute with personnel and means to peace keeping and crisis management operations led by the EU, offering enhanced effectiveness and flexibility in response to future crises.

On 26 May 2011 during her visit to Belgrade, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Catherine ASHTON signed a complementary agreement on exchange of classified information with First Deputy Prime Minister Ivica DAČIĆ. Together with the  Serbian Defence Minister Dragan ŠUTANOVAC the High Representative on that occasion announced the upcoming signature, saying that "this agreement brings Serbia one step closer to the EU and is a clear sign of mutual trust as we are keen to see Serbian police officers and soldiers join their fellow Europeans in operations abroad".

Serbia is one of the 20 countries across the world which have so far concluded or are in the process of negotiating this Agreement with the European Union. On 26 March 2010 High Representative Catherine Ashton addressed a Recommendation to the Council to authorise her to open negotiations for concluding Framework Participation Agreements (FPAs) with 20 countries based on the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. This decision was adopted by the Council on 26 April 2010. Subsequently, the High Representative addressed a formal proposal to Serbia.

Apart from Serbia, the countries involved in this process are Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, BiH, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), India, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, South Africa and USA.

The European Union currently operates 14 military and police missions in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Caucuses and the Western Balkans.



For more information about EU military and police missions see:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/showPage.aspx?id=268&lang=en



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