J. Joksimović: Visa liberalisation is not compromised
June 22 2018 | Belgrade
As a guest of Dnevnik, Jadranka Joksimović has told RTS that the Progress Report on Serbia was prepared by the European Commission in April, and that it represents the most important report based on which our preparedness to open new chapters is measured.
"Last week in the European Parliament, we had a Joint Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee meeting between our members of Assembly and the members of the European Parliament, when a very positive declaration was adopted, which positively referred to the reforms in Serbia and its European path," Joksimović has explained.
She has added that the members of the European Parliament have invited the European Council and the European Commission to open new chapters in the negotiations with Serbia.
"Even that Resolution, which has gone unnoticed yet is very important since it is a joint resolution of our National Assembly and the European Parliament, states that 2025 is not unrealistic for Serbia provided the reforms are accelerated," the Minister has underlined.
She has said that this is the first draft of this Resolution, and that it is yet to undergo amendments by some members of the European Parliament.
"Hence, it will be adopted in November in the European Parliament. There will be amendments, but the tone is generally positive. The economy, macroeconomic stability, regional cooperation and the reconciliation process have all been commended, and it has been stressed that the rule of law, judicial reform, and the fight against corruption are key topics," the Minister has noted.
She has said that we are opening two chapters, but that perhaps we could have opened even more.
"We must be patient and determined. If we become frustrated, we will not go far. I believe that certain progress can also be made by small, yet regular and persistent steps," Joksimović has explained.
"The EU monitors the movements of citizens from countries that are on its negative list"
She has said that the chapters which are to be opened are not irrelevant, and that Serbia will open Chapter 33 - Financial and budgetary provisions and Chapter 13 - Fisheries.
"Financial and budgetary provisions are important because, in this way, we are preparing for the EU membership in terms of our contribution to the common EU budget. Our GDP will be slightly lower than of those countries that have long been members of the EU and our payments will be lower compared to what we will receive from the EU budget for overall development," the Minister has stressed.
She has said that we are a landlocked country, but that we have many rivers and lakes, which is why Chapter 13 is also important.
"Here we have the introduction of standards against illegal fishing, and those dealing with this will have an opportunity to appear on the European market as serious competitors," the Minister has explained.
Asked why Brussels criticises Serbia for lifting visa requirements for certain countries such as Iran, Joksimović has said that the EU is monitoring the movements of all citizens from the countries that are on its negative list.
"In 2015, Serbia demonstrated how responsible it was, as we participated in the European policy of solving the migrant crisis in the right way," Minister Joksimović has said.
She has added that Serbia is very diligent in controlling all suspicious connecting and incoming flights.
"We are responsible, and there is no reason to worry about visa liberalisation," Joksimović has stressed.