J. Joksimović: Serbia has been recognised as a serious EU candidate

14. September 2017. | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Serbia has been recognised as a serious EU candidate

In a statement for Tanjug, Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović said that Serbia’s progress on the EU path had been positively evaluated in the Declaration and Recommendations of the European Union−Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee adopted today.

She cited several positive recommendations made by the EU MPs, pointing out that some of the amendments proposed by Serbian MPs had been accepted.

“Economic reforms and stabilisation of public finances, budgetary projections and growth projections were particularly commended. One important segment of the positive assessments relates to the role of Serbia in regional relations and cooperation,” Joksimović stated, explaining that numerous European institutions, as well as the members of the European Parliament and our members of parliament, were involved in the overall process of Serbia's accession.

Joksimović said that the Parliamentary Committee had held its sixth meeting, adding that it was of the utmost importance that the European Parliament held discussions on Serbia and its progress on the road to the European Union.

The Minister further explained that the EP consisted of various political parties from different countries and that they all reflected the views of their respective member states, noting that the EU undoubtedly recognised that Serbia had shown a constructive role in the region by participating in various regional initiatives, and, in her words, using rhetoric that had yielded constructive developments.

“The Committee commended the achievements of the Berlin Process − an initiative relating to countries of the Western Balkans − particularly the achievements made through cooperation and interconnectivity by means of infrastructure-related and other projects,” stated Joksimović.

Members of the European Parliament also assessed the progress achieved in internal reforms, notably in the judiciary reform, given its relation to crucial Chapter 23 and related action plans that are being implemented.

“We have been invited to continue our reform processes, strengthen the rule of law and the freedom of the media. A very good phrase was used this time, 'improving the culture of journalism', which I believe is a term that potentially better reflects the problems often pointed out by different EU institutions,” said Joksimović, adding that the improvement of the culture of journalism could only be a plus.

She also pointed out that the Committee supported the set of media laws adopted in Serbia and called for their consistent implementation, which, according to her, was completely reasonable.

Joksimović also noted that a very important amendment suggested by Serbian delegation was included in the Declaration and Recommendations.

With an invitation for the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, a provision was included stipulating that it was necessary to establish the Community of Serb Municipalities as soon as possible.

The Minister explained that, for Serbia, without a segment as important as the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities, the dialogue would not achieve its full purpose.

“It is good that European MPs have recognised this,” stated Joksimović.

Minister Joksimović emphasised that a very favourable assessment was given with regard to the overall capacity of Serbia's administration to conduct negotiations and to the strong political will that existed for EU accession negotiations.

“It is very important to commend the people in the administration whose work is important and beneficial for our country. It is outstanding that administrative capacities have been recognised as well as the political will that assures people that they are doing a great job regarding the negotiations, all of which has been greatly emphasised,” stated Joksimović, noting that the image of Serbia had significantly improved in the EU countries and beyond.

“Given such recommendations, one can be sure that Serbia has been recognised as a serious candidate for EU membership,” concluded Joksimović.

(Source: Tanjug)