J. Joksimović on EC Report: It is important that there is no backsliding in any area

18. April 2018. | Belgrade

J. Joksimović on EC Report: It is important that there is no backsliding in any area

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said in her interview for RTS that the EC Report on Serbia shows no backsliding in any area, adding that some important developments from the rule of law have not been included in the report.

As a guest of RTS Dnevnik, Jadranka Joksimović has said that the progress report should cover annual reforms in a candidate country.
“It has been a year and a half since the last report. From October 2016 to end of February 2018, the report has covered everything we have done in Serbia - internal reforms, economic reforms, rule of law, regional cooperation, Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, all of these are topics included in the report which assesses the progress of a candidate country”, the Minister has noted.

She has added that the report is important, because the EU member states will want to analyse it and see how much it has been done in certain areas.
“There is no backsliding in any area, which is very important. In some areas there is greater progress, in others there is none, but it is not easy to cover all activities”, Joksimović has explained, adding that the EU is facing various problems.

She has said that some important developments from the rule of law have not been included in the report.
“For example, constitutional amendments sent to the Venice Commission, which are important for the independence of judiciary, and the adopted Strategy for the prosecution of war crimes. The EU promised that these achievements would also be presented to the member states”, the Minister has emphasised.

She has underlined that Serbia has fully prepared five chapters that should be opened.
“We have negotiating positions that have been sent, and I expect that, based on this report, the member states will decide for at least three chapters to be opened. We have always opened two chapters at a time, and that has been the practice”, Joksimović has explained.

The Minister has said that she believes that Federica Mogherini, who is coming to Belgrade tomorrow, will send good and positive messages.
“The report states that Pristina has achieved progress in forming CSM - that has not happened, it has only been announced that it will happen in the next four months. Serbia is not asking for concessions or backhanded favours, which is sometimes done for others, but we are asking for the same criterion”, Joksimović has stressed.

She has said that it means a lot when chapters are opened, and especially when they are closed, adding that this means that the reforms have continued.

Source: RTS