J. Joksimović: Package arrangement for the EU is slowing Serbia down

17. November 2017. | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Package arrangement for the EU is slowing Serbia down

With regard to the EU accession, the “package arrangement” for the Western Balkans implies the slowing down of Serbia in this process, and I am disappointed that this package was discussed yesterday in Brussels instead of the SAA that pertains to all important reforms, said today for RTS Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović.

We know that President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said that Serbia and Montenegro are recognized as the frontrunners on the path towards the EU, and that Serbia could become a member even before 2025, the Minister specified. Instead, the talks concerned the Western Balkan package. In fact, I do not understand why Serbia is requested to demonstrate the necessity of regional cooperation, since Serbia, and especially president Aleksandar Vučić, have repeatedly shown that we are the ones producing stability, said the Minister, and added that at the same time she did not heard that Federica Mogherini had condemned the rhetoric arriving from Bosnia and Herzegovina these days, that is, from Bakir Izetbegović, Joksimović said.

In this context, the line Minister believes that the yesterday’s topic in Brussels should have been Serbia and our Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), where, as she estimates, it was necessary to talk about this, i.e. about legal, administrative and economic reforms that are being implemented.

She underlined that she was not sure about the benefits of such regional approach, but, as she stated - if that was the EU’s approach, we will have to adapt, “which does not mean that we are bound to express our satisfaction thereby”.

When asked whether her remarks were addressed only to the EU representatives or also at the expense of Prime Minister Brnabić - having previously stated that she disagreed with the Prime Minister’s statement that it does not matter how many chapters are opened, Minister Joksimović said:

“As the Minister of European Integration, I cannot allow, on behalf of all those dealing with the European integration process, to say that it is irrelevant whether we open one or four chapters“, Joksimović said and added that the opening of chapters serves as a proof that reforms are being implemented.

She also pointed out that, as the extreme progress has been recognized, she expects that Serbia will open at least 3-4 chapters by the end of the year.

“"Everything else would be interpreted as a slowdown in the process of European integration," the line minister said.

(sources: Tanjug and RTS)