J. Joksimović: At least three chapters opened by the end of the year

06. November 2017. | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: At least three chapters opened by the end of the year

"Serbia may open three or four chapters by the end of the year", Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said and pointed out that the Negotiating Position for Chapter 9 on financial services was sent to the European Commission in Brussels a few weeks ago.

Minister Joksimović has explained that the chapter that will be on the agenda is not determined by the European Commission, but by Serbia’s agenda, i.e. Serbian institutions and the Negotiating Team, that are working on the preparation of negotiating positions, which are undergoing certain procedures in the Convention, the National Assembly and in the Government, after which they are submitted to the working bodies in Brussels.

"For several weeks now, I have been announcing that we will submit, that is, that we have submitted the Negotiating Position for Chapter 9, only to see the news from the circles of the working bodies in Brussels from the European Commission presented as an exclusive. This is a strange practice in our media", Minister Joksimović has said, adding that this is a red herring because, as she has explained, the chapter cannot be opened unless Serbia has previously prepared it.

"We prepared and sent the negotiating position some three or more weeks ago. I think that it will be ready for opening if the substantive and procedural conditions are fulfilled by the European Commission," she has said.

Minister Joksimović has said that the set of financial services is very well developed in Serbia, and that she therefore expects that Serbia will receive a lot of consents by the Member States, which means that there is a possibility for Chapter 9, apart from Chapters 6, 30 and 33, to be opened.

She has explained that the consumers and users of financial services in banking, insurance, and payment transactions will be more protected and that this area will be improved.

"There is a possibility for developing a system of voluntary pension funds, followed by increasing the level of protection for all users of packages of services concerning bank loans, insurance, and payment transactions; hence, this one chapter will specifically and additionally regulate a set of financial services on our market," the Minister has stressed.

She has pointed out that the procedure in the National Assembly for Chapter 13 − Fisheries has also been completed today, and has stressed that Serbia’s negotiating position will be adopted at the next session of the Government, after which it will be sent to Brussels.

"This chapter is very important, since it will reduce the possibilities for illegal fishing and introduce the fishing certificate, enabling the use of more funds for improving fisheries and fish ponds," Joksimović has added.

Minister Joksimović has also said that the Non-paper on the fulfilment of the Action Plans in Chapters 23 and 24 will soon be placed before the Member States, probably in mid-November or late November, and she believes that it will be good enough considering all the activities that Serbia has had.

She has recalled that the Negotiating Position for Chapter 6 on company law was sent during summer, stating that it regulates equal access to the market and attracting of investments.

"We have also prepared the Negotiating Position for Chapter 30 on external relations, which envisages that, with Serbia's membership in the EU, we will join all the arrangements that the EU countries have with third countries, which is also important for Chapter 33 on financial and budgetary provisions, related to the use of EU funds and additional stabilisation of financial circumstances," Joksimović has said.

Source: Tanjug