BELGRADE, March 29 (Xinhua) -- As Britain officially started the Brexit process from the European Union (EU) on Wednesday, experts and officials in Serbia were united in their assessment that the country's dedication to full membership in the bloc will not be harmed in any way by Brexit.
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic exchanged his views about its influence on the future of Serbia's integration process with his visiting counterpart of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, while several experts guessed in media who will lose more, London or Brussels.
However, most were unanimous in the estimation that Serbia's EU path will continue according to plan despite the challenges that might occur.
SERBIA STAYS ON EU PATH DESPITE BREXIT
Dacic said at a press conference after meeting with Asselborn that Brexit will not have any influence on country's European path and that "Serbia, despite Brexit, wishes to become a full member of the European Union (EU)."
"Our goals are unchanged, disregarding the current discussion with the EU," he said, according to the report of the Tanjug News Agency.
Dacic explained that the reasons behind Serbia's dedication to the EU path are "reforms, but also clear economic interests that Serbia would have from becoming a member."
According to Tanjug, Asselborn said that Serbia will soon open Chapter 29 of the EU Acquis that is related to the customs union, as well as four other chapters that are well prepared, and that its EU path does not depend on Brexit.
He said that the Brexit is first of all an issue of the EU, but it is also related to the Western Balkans, because "everyone needs to make efforts and achieve progress."
According to Asselborn, "this cannot destroy the process of EU enlargement."
BREXIT TO BE MARGINALIZED WHEN SERBIA GETS CLOSER TO EU MEMBERSHIP
Dejan Popovic, professor at the Faculty of Law of the Belgrade University and former ambassador of Serbia to Britain, said in an interview to Serbian national broadcaster RTS that Brexit will end in 2019, so it will have no influence on Serbia's accession to the EU.
"Until then some balance will be found and by the time when Serbia gets near EU membership, this problem will be marginalized," Popovic said.
He explained that Britain's political role in the world will not end with Brexit and it will continue to be present in world, in Europe, and especially in the Balkans through its military, intelligence and economy.
He added that it is not easy to predict who will suffer bigger loses from Brexit -- Britain or the 27 EU member countries.
BRITAIN PROBABLY TO HAVE MORE TO LOSE
Slobodan Samardzic, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the Belgrade University and an expert in EU integration, observed that nothing is precisely defined in the negotiation process between Britain and 27 EU members.
He said that Britain can still try to maintain existing benefits and rights, but he believed that they will certainly be the losing side in this process.
Samardzic, said in an interview to Tanjug news agency that British citizens, during the course of Brexit negotiations, will lose EU citizenship along with the right to live or work in EU members and freely move across the territory of the union.
He stressed that the participation of Britain on the common market of the EU will be the main issue, and that it will be resolved "through direct bilateral agreements with Brussels."