Minister of Economy and Regional Development of the Serbian Government, Nebojša Ćirić, opened, at the premises of the Serbian Government, a press conference dedicated to the signing of the multilateral agreement between the Accreditation Body of Serbia and European co-operation for Accreditation and on that occasion he explained that signing of the agreement would contribute to the increase of the competitiveness of the Serbian economy.
The Agreement was actually signed on 24th May in Madrid at the 29th meeting of the General Assembly of the European co-operation for Accreditation. In addition to signing of the Agreement the ATS became one of the 34 full EA members.
“Signing of this agreement and obtaining of the EA full membership status is the most significant event on the ATS path to EU integrations and harmonisation of the national accreditation system with those of the EU and world”, emphasised Minister Ćirić and added that the ATS was among the first national institutions the work of which had been completely harmonised with the EU acquis and international standards and recognised by the relevant EU institutions.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, Vincent Degert, emphasised that both producers and consumers would benefit from signing of the Agreement – the former would benefit from the removal of the barriers to trade, reduced production costs and possibility to place goods and services on foreign markets and the latter would benefit from safer and more quality products which would lead to a better quality of life for all the citizens.
“This is a clear message confirming that Serbia is getting closer to the EU”, and added that both economy and citizens would benefit from the agreement in terms of the accreditation motto “tested once– accepted everywhere”. According to him, more than ten million Euros was invested in the quality infrastructure through the EU funded projects.
“Safety of Serbian products and free access to EU and world markets is one of the key objectives of the accreditation process”, emphasised Jelena Popović, Assistant Minister, QI Sector at the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, and added that the Republic of Serbia harmonised, almost at the same time as the EU, its legislation (in 2009 and 2010) in this field, since Regulation 765 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products was adopted in 2008.
Vice Chair of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Vidosava Džagić, compared the importance of the MLA and the EA membership to our industry with the importance of visa liberalisation to the citizens.
Director of the Accreditation Body of Serbia, Dejan Krnjaić PhD, thanked the Ministry of Economy and Regional Economy and the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia for the support they provided to the ATS and explained that after a rigorous three-year peer evaluation procedure and two peer evaluations performed by the EA evaluators the ATS was assessed as a reliable and equal partner having the accreditation system equivalent to those of the EU and world since the said Agreement is recognised by the international organisations such as International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and International Accreditation Forum.
Branislav Zec, MERR Secretary, Vincent Degert, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, Nebojša Ćirić, MERR Minister, Jelena Popović, MERR Assistant Minister, Dejan Krnjaić, ATS and Vidosava Džagić, PKS