J. Joksimović: EU to bear its share of responsibility

02. April 2018. | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: EU to bear its share of responsibility

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has called on the European Union today to engage more actively and more responsibly in addressing the adherence to the Brussels Agreement, as it is also its obligation as a signatory and guarantor.
“As a serious European state, we will insist that legally binding agreements, that, of course, legally bind both parties, must be respected. We call on the European Union to engage in a more responsible and active way, so that its signature, which provided a guarantee for the implementation of this agreement, truly gains credibility,” Joksimović stated during her appearance on RTS.

She has stressed that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and the Government of the Republic of Serbia have clearly shown Serbia’s commitment to the dialogue and the utmost responsibility, noting that that is where the difference between true states and failed projects is apparent.

She has reminded that the Brussels Agreement was signed in 2013 by the then-representatives of Belgrade and Pristina, but also by former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, stressing that this agreement is also legally binding for the EU.
“Accordingly, the Brussels Agreement was signed as a legally binding agreement, that is, between two parties, with guarantees and involvement of the European Union. When we speak about a legally binding agreement on comprehensive normalisation of relations, we all tend to focus on a future legally binding agreement and we forget that the Brussels Agreement is also legally binding,” Joksimović highlighted.

The Minister has said that Pristina is not capable, that it has no political will and obviously no capacities to implement even the basic principles on which the concept of normalisation rested.“
“Belgrade cannot be the only one completing the tasks for everyone else. Let everyone get involved and let them take their share of responsibility. Including the European Union,” said Joksimović.

She has recalled that the full title of the Brussels Agreement is the First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalisation of Relations and that it is subsequently followed by an implementation plan.

She has emphasised that the Community of Serb Municipalities is part of this framework agreement.
“We have forgotten that only after that the issues that are very important to us relating to property, protection of cultural heritage, human rights and missing persons were to be set on the agenda, and therefore we will insist, as a serious European state, that legally binding agreements are respected,” stated Joksimović.

According to her, the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is linked to the European integration, however, it is a separate, parallel process.
“If the European path of Serbia depended solely on that, the EU would be making the wrong decision,” the Minister believes.
“This is not an issue for Serbia alone. This is an issue for the region and the European Union, and therefore I think that ultimately the prevailing position will be that commitment, constructiveness, progress and reforms will certainly, in my opinion, be a sufficiently good reason to continue with one, I would nevertheless say, positive relationship towards Serbia in terms of European integration,” stated Joksimović.

She has stressed that European integration is “a meeting of two political wills” - on the one hand, of the candidate country, in this case Serbia, and the European Union, on the other.
“It has some of its own rules and procedures, all citizens know that it is quite complicated, but what is our interest in European integration are reforms, development, use of funds, pre-accession funds, everything that our citizens expect, new investments and jobs, these are the things that motivate us to stay committed to the process of European integration,” concluded Joksimović.

Source: RTS and Tanjug