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J. Joksimović: Nothing ground-breaking, we will analyse if there is something stimulative

February 04 2020 | Brussels

J. Joksimović: Nothing ground-breaking, we will analyse if there is something stimulative

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has assessed that the new methodology of the EU accession process will not bring a major change in the accession negotiations. She has said that Serbia is already negotiating under very strict terms, and possesses the capacities to negotiate according on any methodology.

"We are doing our job and, if I may say so, I am sure that we will reach our goal. Without taking shortcuts and with all obstacles in our way, I am sure that Serbia may be the first to reach its destination," Joksimović has said in Brussels.

Jadranka Joksimović has announced that the Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, will officially present a new methodology for accession process in Brussels on Wednesday, 5 February 2020, which he will also present in Belgrade a day later, as part of his first official visit to Serbia.

Joksimović has said there is certain confusion regarding the new methodology and its potential application to Serbia.

She has explained that the essence is, in fact, the question of how the enlargement policy will be “positioned in a political sense”, and how the EU will agree "with one voice” on whether the enlargement policy will remain, whether it will be accelerated, and whether they see it as an important element for the strengthening of the EU in the future.

"The methodology will bring nothing ground-breaking that may completely change the concept of negotiations. Serbia is already negotiating under a very rigid and rigorous methodology," Joksimović has said.

She has added that Serbia has never rebelled in the accession process, despite situations that could have been frustrating.

"We agreed on such a rigorous methodology, accepted the conditions and showed that, as a country of first-rate capacities, we can negotiate according to any methodology," Joksimović has stressed.

The Minister of European Integration has said that Serbia will analyse the new methodology and consider if there are elements for accelerating the process.

Joksimović has added that, according to currently available information, it can be expected that the new methodology will also follow the principle under which Serbia is already negotiating - namely, that the rule of law is the basis of negotiations and that any other progress in the negotiations will depend on the rule of law.

"As far as funds are concerned, I think that the existing pre-accession funds will be increased and that more money will be allocated to the countries in the negotiation process," Joksimović has said.

She has added that the strengthening of the fund for regional projects can also be expected, but also that Commissioner Várhelyi will present an advanced economic plan for the Western Balkans, i.e. for the countries in the accession process, at the Summit in Zagreb.

Joksimović has assessed that the new methodology will not cover earlier announcements of potential access by candidate countries to EU structural funds.

"None of the candidates are crazy to go against this, but it would be, in a political sense and under the current rules, very complex to put into practice. There are very demanding mechanisms and a huge debate within the EU Member States about the availability of funds, even for the EU Members States themselves,” Joksimović has explained.

Jadranka Joksimović has particularly stressed that, in addition to increasing the IPA funds, the European Commission will also support the Green Deal for the Western Balkans.

"This is a much broader area than an environmental project. It is a blueprint for transforming the socio-economic development based on clean technologies and green growth. Through all that has been done in the previous years and according to its National Investment Plan until 2025, Serbia fits right in and has much to offer," Joksimović has concluded.

Source: Tanjug