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Europe

Serbian PM Vucic: 'EU still the best place to belong to'

Serbia will strive firmly to be part of the EU, says Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. He underlined that his country has done more in the refugee crisis than several EU members.

Aleksandar Vucic spoke to DW on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

DW: There are many refugees in Serbia at the moment. Your country has been criticized by several EU member states for your approach to the refugee crisis.

Serbia is being criticized by many EU members? I haven't heard of that - and if I had, I would react immediately, because our country received more migrants than more than 60 percent of the EU countries. (Editor's note: Serbia is not an EU member state, but was officially recognized as an EU accession candidate as of March 1, 2012.)

We take care of the migrants in our country - but it's hard to take care of someone who wants to find a smuggler to enter the EU. These people avoid our reception centers, that is the main problem.

We solve all the other problems on a daily basis and I think we showed solidarity with the migrants. We accepted the quota system (for the distribution of refugees in Europe) proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which many EU members refused.

We have 10,000 migrants in Serbia. How many are in Slovenia? How many are in Croatia? How many are in several other EU countries? None! That means that there is at least something that we do better than the EU member states. 

Do you expect more support for Serbia in the refugee crisis?

There are a lot of EU countries that always cry for more. We got something from the EU and we have been asked particularly by Germany whether we need more help. This is something that we could handle - so far. We'll see what happens in the future. If necessary, we'll ask for more help and assistance.

Where do you think the EU is heading? Do you think it is in good shape?

Europe will have to be more united if the member states want it to survive. It looks much weaker than it was before, but I still think that the EU is the best place in the world to belong to - although it faces turbulences. Serbia will strive firmly to be part of the European Union. We share common values.

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